Mocking Laughter Open Thread: “When Will Us Men Feel Safe Again?

(Ted Rall via GoComics.com)
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We have to laugh, or we’d never stop crying. And the Washington Post‘s Alexandra Petri (here, with Christine Emba) remains a national treasure:

The allegations that have brought down powerful men in Congress and Hollywood are making things around the workplace uncomfortable. Men wonder: Is it still okay to hug a woman? Okay, well, is it still okay to hug a woman and whisper in her ear, “I have $5 million for you if you’ll let me put a child in your child-receptacle, whatever your name is?” Some men are looking back over their own past behavior, terrified they may have, unknowingly, made a woman feel uncomfortable. They want to know where the line is…

Some have lost their jobs for grotesque activity spanning decades, others for a simple query such as, “Okay, Rhonda, how MUCH money for me to rent your womb?” or, “What do you mean, you do not want a box of dildos?” It is those latter cases that have men sweating at their desks. Will they lose their jobs? Should they have offered money for sex instead? Or asked a male colleague to bear their offspring?

“My guy friends are all very alarmed,” says Angela, who asked that her last name be withheld on the grounds that she might have to interact with men again in the course of her life, although she hopes not. “They keep saying, ‘If I can’t ask my subordinates to bear my children, then what can I even say to women?’ and I’m like, ‘Literally anything but that is fine.’”

Some young men worry that courtship is dead. What of the tender, delicate dance, that old ritual “where you invite her into your office, push the door-locking button, and let things take their course?” Tim (who asked that his last name not be used) mused: “What of the unsolicited picture-sending that is the first step in any romance?”…



Late Night Fustercluck Open Thread: Billy Bush Goes to Canossa

… and he didn’t even have to kneel in the snow for three days. Color me not impressed!

In fact, Billy’s relationship to the Bush Crime Family is the only real point of interest, as far as I can tell. For all the vast social ineptness of various politically-oriented Bushes, they have demonstrated a keen sense of what the zeitgeist requires, whether that involves banking gold for the Nazi Party or volunteering to shoot down Japanese warplanes. If Billy thinks it’s time to make a public show of renoucing Donny and all his works, it’s a strong indicator that the Permanent Republican Party (such as it is, in these fallen days) still thinks it can shake off the Trump/”populist” (racist) stink with the aid of a few well-placed sacrifices. Since the Bushes have been intimately involved with the CIA since it was the OSS, one can but assume they have some knowledge of what’s been going on behind the Putin curtain…



Late Night Horrors Open Thread: It’s Who Gets to Tell the Stories, and What Stories We’re Allowed to Tell

TBH, I just figured Halperin was a celebritysexual — someone who’d hump whatever figure gave him “ACCESS” and helicopter rides. Male celebresexuals are known for publicly deploring that women — at least the young, cute ones — have unfair advantages when it comes to charming powerful older men…


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Although it’s hardly shocking it turns out he’s specifically angry about Women-as-a-class… those shrill harpies who unrelentingly force innocent men to sexually harrass them!…



When You’re A “Star”, They Have to Let You Do It…

Props to Mr. Crews for speaking out, because his experience is further proof: It’s not about sex for powerful predators, it’s about the rush of knowing that they can treat “the help” like pets or furniture.

Liz Meriwether, at NYMag‘s The Cut, “I’m A Coward”:

Years ago, I went to a meeting in a hotel room with a powerful man. We started talking. He asked me about my sexual past, and I laughed and told some funny stories. I expect to talk about relationships and love and sex in meetings, since that’s what I write about. It was just the way he was asking me — he was pushing for details. I was suddenly aware of how alone I was in that room. Then he pointed to the bed next to us and said, “You know there’s a bed in here.” Like a young Dorothy Parker, with eloquence and wit beyond my years, I responded: “Yeah. I see that! Cool bed, man!”

Eventually the meeting was over, and he walked me to the door of the suite. I was starting to feel relieved it was over, when he suddenly grabbed my shoulders and held me in front of the gilded hallway mirror. I couldn’t move. He was watching me through the mirror. I could barely bring my head up. He said, “Look. Look at yourself. Do you see how beautiful you are?”

It was at that moment that I did something insane. I started laughing. Like, uproariously laughing. It was not a fun laugh. It was one of those crazy, terrifying laughs. Suddenly, I was Laura Linney in an Oscar clip. I turned my head and looked at him, still laughing, and said, “This is my worst nightmare!” That must have surprised him or offended him, because then he let me go. I headed for the door, walked through the lobby of the hotel, and didn’t stop walking until I was back inside my apartment downtown. I walked the way I walk in dreams, without feeling my feet on the ground. I was buzzing. I didn’t feel real.

It must have been my fault. It must have been something I said. Was I flirting with him? I shouldn’t have told that story. I shouldn’t have gone to his hotel room. What can I do about it? Who do I tell? I don’t have enough money for a lawyer. I don’t want to suddenly become unemployable because of something he chose to do to me. Was it that big of a deal? Did I make it up? It wasn’t an assault — it was just, like, an aggressive mirror hold. There are no laws against forcing people to look at themselves in the mirror. I’m fine. I’m tough. I’m one of the guys. It was just a weird thing that happened, and now it’s over, and I’m fine. What if I said something and he stopped me from getting another job? So I made a decision: I chose to stay quiet. I kept working with him. As I said, I’m a coward…
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Saturday Morning Open Thread: Never Bet Against Nancy Smash

Every woman knows that when a guy does something important, it proves how smart & powerful he is; when a woman does something important, it proves some man gave her a (probably unearned) break. Politico, in its best Media Village Idiot suck-up mode, explains how “Pelosi rises again — thanks to Trump”:

Just months ago, Nancy Pelosi’s grip on power was tested again by rebellious Democrats frustrated with her leadership. Now she’s strategizing with President Donald Trump in phone calls and over dinner at the White House.

The dramatic reversal of fortune for the longtime House Democratic leader is forcing even her loudest critics to reconsider.

“While she’s here in this leadership position, I think there’s no one better to do the job,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-N.Y.), who vocally pushed for a leadership change earlier this summer. “I think this is a good start.”…

Both friends and critics of Pelosi within the caucus say her rising leverage is a good thing. Pelosi, who bills herself as a “master legislator,” may be able to broker some wins for her caucus that she likely wouldn’t be able to achieve with a more traditional Republican president, they say.

But some rank-and-file lawmakers say despite Pelosi’s power plays, the caucus could still use fresh leadership after next year’s elections if Democrats don’t take back the House. Other members say they’re watching the current bipartisan bonhomie warily, noting that there’s only so much Democrats can agree on with Trump…

Pelosi has tried to put Democrats at ease, arguing that she can be trusted not to compromise her party’s values.

“I’m a progressive from San Francisco. Proud liberal,” she told reporters Tuesday. “I have my own kind of credibility on these subjects.”

Those close to Pelosi also say she’s no amateur. She’s dealt with several presidents during her three decades in the House, particularly the past 15 years as Democratic leader — and won’t hesitate to call out Trump in areas where they disagree, large and small.

Pelosi was the one who challenged Trump during his first sit-down with congressional leaders after becoming president. At the time, Trump repeated a debunked claim that he lost the popular vote because of voter fraud, upon which Pelosi spoke up to tell him that was false.

For his part, Trump has limited his attacks on Pelosi since coming into office, not targeting her with some of the viciousness that he’s hurled toward others who criticize him…

“[We] are always hopeful that we can find common ground, which we have a responsibility to do,” Pelosi told reporters. “If we can’t find it, we stand our ground.”…

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Apart from giving thanks for strong (if underappreciated) women, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Snark Open Thread: A Pattern of (Company) Behavior

This is a frank and uninhibited era, in which a man must abjure putting it all in the shop window. Rest assured any woman who wants to see your very special pictures will not be too shy to ask…



Late Night Cheap Laffs Open Thread: What If A Female Soldier Were to See… A Man-Tassel?

To the fainting couches! This was Phyllis Schafly’s best argument against the ERA, back in 1973: “Your daughters will be drafted and forced to share showers with naked men!”

I had four brothers, so the sight of male genitalia once I was old enough to… shall we say… have joined the Army, didn’t come as a nasty shock. My female friends without male siblings had all done enough babysitting (changed enough diapers) to have a working idea of the relevant anatomy. And we didn’t even have the internet to educate us!