Actions Have Consequences: Lysistrata Edition

I’ll just leave this here for your schadenfreude and viewing pleasure. Albo is quitting the Virginia House of Delegates.



A Day Without Women?

If I were a True Progressive(tm), I probably wouldn’t be writing this (although, in my defense, for me it’s the end of Tuesday rather than the beginning of Wednesday). Yes, I enjoy putting these posts together — since it’s unpaid labor, Cole could hardly fire me for noncompliance — but it does qualify as work, some days more than others.

Jia Tolentino, in the New Yorker, on “The Women’s Strike and the Messy Space of Change”:

T[oday] is the Women’s Strike, the fourth of ten actions that have been called for by the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington. The strike was planned to coincide with International Women’s Day, and the march organizers, in tandem with a team organizing protests in forty countries around the world, have asked women to take whatever form of action their lives allow for. Take the day off from “paid and unpaid labor,” including housework and child care, if you can, or avoid shopping at corporate or male-owned businesses, or simply wear red in solidarity. There will be rallies in at least fifty cities around the United States.

Comparisons between the strike and the post-Inauguration march—now estimated to be the largest political demonstration in U.S. history—are inevitable, and likely to be unfavorable to the strikers. The decline in unionization has insured that most American workers are unfamiliar with striking and what it entails. And it is, of course, much harder to strike on a weekday than to protest on a Saturday. It is also more difficult to facilitate, measure, and publicize absence than it is to celebrate presence, the way one does at a march. When tens of thousands of immigrants went on strike on February 16th, they did attract some favorable public attention—as well as employer retribution—but a general strike the next day, and a tech-industry strike one week later, escaped public notice almost completely…

From the Washington Post, “The expensive problem with the ‘Day Without a Woman’”:

Rosie Molina, who works at a District restaurant for $7.50 an hour, woke early to march on the Mall in January. Then she rushed downtown for an afternoon shift. Molina was proud to have briefly joined the movement — her cause is immigrant rights — but she cannot afford to take part in Wednesday’s strike, which would cost her about $60. That’s two weeks of groceries.

“I’m a single mother,” Molina said. “I don’t have the luxury. The last time I took a day off, my paycheck was very low.”

Taria Vines, 44, who makes about $350 each week as a caterer in the Bronx, decided to take the day off to march Wednesday in the nation’s capital with some friends. Vines figures she’ll lose a chunk of pay — probably enough to cover her cellphone bill — but she still wanted to take a stand against sexual harassment and discrimination.

“It’s costing me money to do this,” she said, “but if I don’t fight for what’s right for me, who will?”…
Read more



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Carne Vale!

(courtesy Ozark Hillbilly)
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Of course most of the Mardi Gras parties happened last weekend, or even earlier, but today it’s official. Even if you’re not a Lenten observer, why pass up a chance to eat pancakes?

But of course there’s always a political component… even leading aside the President-Asterisk’s speech tonight. Per the Washington Post:

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago — Every year, an onslaught of high-octane soca music is released ahead of Trinidad’s pre-Lent Carnival. The songs are new, but the themes are well-worn: Rum. Partying. And the allure of a woman’s gyrating body, preferably backed into a man’s grasp.

So it’s a little surprising that one of this year’s most popular Carnival tunes is a jaunty ballad performed by the 76-year-old music legend Calypso Rose and titled matter-of-factly “Leave Me Alone.” The song features a woman trying to party in the streets without interference from men, exhorting them to “leave me, let me free up.” And it’s being hailed as a feminist anthem.

“It’s like a rallying cry for women who just want to be able to have the option of enjoying their Carnival — Carnival being that space of freedom,” said Attillah Springer, 40, a Trinidadian writer and activist. “And then you have to deal with people who are trying to control how much freedom you feel.”…

The discussion about women’s roles in Carnival is part of a wider soul-searching about the state of the celebration and how it has changed from the traditions of decades ago, when Carnival costumes depicted figures from history or folklore and often encapsulated stinging political or social statements.

But Gabrielle Hosein, head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, said the current bikini-and-beads iteration of Carnival doesn’t necessarily exclude political or social activism.

“It’s the largest movement of women in Trinidad and Tobago seeking autonomy and self-determination around their sexuality and their bodies, in opposition to a particular kind of respectability politics . . . purely for the joy and pleasure they experience,” Hossein said. “One can see those goals as highly political in our world today.”.

Ayoung-Chee said she wants to help people see how the free-for-all Carnival vibes can align with the tradition of activism and rebellion.

“Coming out in the streets in the tens of thousands, owning your space, owning your freedom,” Ayoung-Chee said. “What is that besides activism?”



Chew on This Open Thread: April Ryan Is Not Trump’s African-American

Donald Trump tells us that he is the least racist person ever. I would say ‘Donald Trump believes he is the least racist person’, but I’m chary of putting ‘Trump’ and ‘belief’ in the same sentence.

April Ryan, incidentally, is not Donald Trump’s ‘girl’ either (in the Mad Men ‘my girl will set it up with your girl’ sense)…



Early Morning Cabin Fever Cranky Open Thread: Tell It!

Infinite thanks to commentor Rikyrah for highlighting Awesome Luvvie’s latest extremely righteous twitter rant. Excerpts:

(And yes, I was reminded that I’ve been meaning to order a copy of Ms. Ajayi’s book I’m Judging You… )



Lighter Late Night Open Thread: I Think I’ve Figured Out Why Cole’s Too Busy to Post

He’s trying to get Lily and Steve to be more brand-friendly dammit!!!

Bianca Bosker, in the Atlantic, on “Instamom: The enviable, highly profitable life of Amber Fillerup Clark, perfect mother and social-media influencer”:

One morning in early November, Amber Fillerup Clark sat at her dining-room table, which serves as her desk most days, peering at her laptop. She had professional photo-editing software open, and was using it to tweak pictures that her husband, David Clark, had snapped of their toddlers dressed up as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The children had rotated through several costumes before Halloween—11-month-old Rosie wore a lamb outfit; 2-year-old Atticus dressed as a dragon; the whole family donned matching superhero getups—and Clark had photographed each one for Barefoot Blonde, Fillerup Clark’s blog about motherhood and fashion. As we talked, she adjusted the colors in the pictures, giving them the warm pastel hues characteristic of wedding portraits. She assured me that she stops short of Photoshopping appearances, then reconsidered: “Sometimes I’ll whiten teeth.”

Fillerup Clark has shared enough holidays and milestones that she and her husband can predict what types of images will charm her followers. “Before we post a picture, we can usually tell how good the engagement will be based off the content,” Clark said.

“If it has the whole family in a pretty place, traveling, that’s going to do the best,” Fillerup Clark said. On another occasion she’d told me, “We always have to think of our life as ‘Where can you take the prettiest pictures?’ ”

Not so long ago, Fillerup Clark was a broke student in Provo, Utah. Today, at age 26, she is the equivalent of internet royalty: a “relatable influencer,” someone whom hundreds of thousands of women trust as a friend and whom companies pay handsomely to name-drop their products. Stepping for the first time into her living room in Manhattan, I found it intimately familiar, thanks to the up-close-and-personal Instagram photos, YouTube vlogs, Snapchat videos, and blog posts Fillerup Clark shares with her 1.3 million Instagram followers, 227,000 YouTube fans, and 250,000 monthly blog readers. I knew from the redecoration “reveal” she’d posted a few months back that the velvet side chair had been provided by West Elm, and I recognized the tangle of curls on a shelf as clip-in hair extensions from Barefoot Blonde Hair, Fillerup Clark’s own line of products, which sold out within 72 hours of its debut in October. I could even name the stuffed dog on the couch: That was Chauncey, it belonged to Atticus, and it had been named after the family’s real golden retriever…

Fillerup Clark’s portrait of domestic bliss has earned her a top spot among the second generation of so-called mommy bloggers. She joins a clique of stylish women, among them Naomi Davis of Love Taza and Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, who have acquired loyal followings (and incomes rumored to be in the seven figures) by showing themselves excelling as ordinary wives and mothers. If the feats these blogs capture are familiar—dressing well, attending to children—this is a key part of the appeal; the women epitomize a new breed of celebrity, as public fascination expands beyond the rich and famous to the well-off and above-average. “We’re seeing people following almost idealized versions of themselves,” said Rob Fishman, a co-founder of Niche, an ad network for online influencers that is now owned by Twitter. “It’s this attainable perfection.”…

Fillerup Clark says she juggles about five photo shoots a week, not including impromptu picture-taking when the family happens to be doing something photogenic. It was the Clarks’ second visit to Central Park that day; the earlier trip, which they’d deemed a casual family outing, not an official shoot, had generated content for an Instagram photo, a Snapchat video, and a blog post…

Yeah, eminently mockable, but it is hard work, in its own way; there’s a feminist treatise to be written about the perennial niche in “conservative” media for women willing to work hard at being traditionalists. (For a far more toxic example, Phyllis Schafly made a rich career out of explaining for money that real women should stay home with their children, while leaving her own six kids in the care of housekeepers and her husband.)

Via Get Off My Internets, which has successfully monetized (although I’m sure not at the seven-digit-figure level) the second-level mocking of monetizing one’s private life online.



Late Night Open Thread: Maybe Trump’s Afraid of… Pantsuits?

Authoritarians have always been obsessed with appearances (frequently with less-than-stellar results, as with Nixon’s ‘honor guard’ Secret Service uniforms). We knew that President-Asterisk Trump had him some standards, of course, but it took Politico founder Mike Allen, at his new Koch-funded ‘startup’ Axios, to drop the handkerchief:

Trump likes the women who work for him “to dress like women,” says a source who worked on Trump’s campaign. “Even if you’re in jeans, you need to look neat and orderly.” We hear that women who worked in Trump’s campaign field offices — folks who spend more time knocking on doors than attending glitzy events — felt pressure to wear dresses to impress Trump…

The NYTimes jumped in for even-handedness, of course…

…[W]hile many of the tweets were aimed at rejecting the idea that women should be restricted to some narrow sartorial category, the “dress like a woman” phrase, co-opted as a hashtag, didn’t come directly from Mr. Trump….

It’s clear that appearances matter to the president. Mr. Trump, the former owner of the Miss Universe Organization, has come under harsh criticism for rating women’s appearances on a scale of one to 10 and for hurling insults at female critics.

As a candidate, he readily attacked when people commented on the size of his hands or on his hair….

Like presidents past, Mr. Trump will most likely have some influence over style in the West Wing. The White House does not have an official dress code, according to its Press Office, but every administration has its own norms…

Such as KellyAnne Conway’s inauguration outfit?

Regardless, the comment has been a gift to Friday-night Twitter


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ETA: Apparently FYWP is afraid of KellyAnne Conway photos, because taking one out fixed the comment formatting problem.