Listen To The Women – Anita Hill Edition

Jill Abramson goes back to reporting and gives us a long-form look at Clarence Thomas’s other accusers. She refers to Moira Smith’s story, very similar to Anita Hill’s, which was published in Fall 2016, just before James Comey made his news.

Abramson wrote a book in the mid-nineties about “ three other women who had experiences with Thomas at the EEOC that were similar to Hill’s, and four people who knew about his keen interest in porn but were never heard from publicly.”

A good case can be made that Thomas lied to the Senate during his confirmation hearing. Some Democrats, during the 2016 campaign, wanted to bring up the issue of his possible impeachment.

Before we consider impeachment, though, we have to consider how Thomas might be replaced. So it’s not for now.


Buzzfeed outed another abuser today. Lawrence Krauss is a professor of physics at Arizona State University and a well-known (among those folks, anyway) proponent of scientific atheism. He’s also been whispered about by women for a long time. Melody Hensley’s story is featured in the article, but others are mentioned.

Krauss is a cosmologist, and he is heading up a multidisciplinary effort on “the origins of the universe, life, and social systems.” I am a chemist who has had to deal with far too many know-it-all physicists, but my observation of physicists in positions like this is that they try to devolve everything to physics, while claiming a broad view. It’s tiresome.

He has denied any wrong-doing with women, but there are quite a few incidents listed in this article. I find them persuasive, along with the whispers.


Monday Morning Open Thread: I Am HERE for This Particular Reboot…

Justice Ginsburg was the honoree at a Columbia University event yesterday, being interviewed by CNN’s Poppy Harlow, and she was (as always) awesome:

Harlow and Ginsburg held a wide-ranging discussion that also touched on sexism during the 2016 presidential campaign, attacks on the judiciary, the First Amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment and even blindspots on the current court.

Asked directly whether sexism played a role in the last campaign, Ginsburg said, “I think it was difficult for Hillary Clinton to get by, in the macho atmosphere prevailing during that campaign … And she was criticized in a way I think no man would have been criticized,” she said.

“Sexism played a prominent part,” Ginsburg said but stressed that she thought America was ready for a woman president and “will be the next time.”…

The Hill has the video of the whole hour-and-a-half conversation; Ginsburg shows up around minute 12.

And it reminded me — I hadn’t yet found a space to post the report from her previous speech, as reported by the Washington Post

The tote bag Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg carried on stage Thursday night had the words “I dissent” on the outside. Inside, there was a diary entry by German Holocaust victim Anne Frank pondering why women are thought inferior to men. The tiny 84-year-old jurist said America still needs to make equality explicit.

“The genius of our Constitution is that this concept of ‘We the people’ has become ever more embracive,” she told a reverential crowd of 1,400 that greeted and sent off Ginsburg with standing ovations. “Think about what it was in the beginning. … I’d like to see in the Constitution a statement that men and women are people of equal citizenship stature. I’d like to see an equal rights amendment in our Constitution.”…

… Ginsburg gets a personal kind of love from Jewish crowds, which was largely the case [Feb 1], when she filled the huge sanctuary of Adas Israel, a synagogue of the Conservative movement in Northwest D.C.

Introduced Thursday by a female rabbi who painted Ginsburg as a hero of the marginalized in a “dark moment” — ostensibly a Trump moment — the justice also was the subject of a prayer published this week by the feminist Jewish blog Lilith. “A Prayer for RBG’s Long Life” was read on stage:

“You have helped us remain clear — not just on the foundational principles of a nation, but on our Jewish mandate: to welcome the stranger and never to stand idly by. The Hebrew words on your office wall in calligraphy read, ‘Tzedek Tzedek, tirdof: Justice, Justice shalt thou pursue.’ You have. And we’ll keep trying.”…

Just three more states would be needed for full ratification. I know some people argue it’s a distraction, but women have been trying to get this Constitutional validation since 1923. If some people can demand a giant military parade to mark the centenary of the end of WWI, why can’t we demand that women get our own centennial celebration?

Another very fine person…

Trump finally commented on the Porter situation (The Post):

“We wish him well; he worked very hard,” Trump said to a small group of reporters at the White House, providing his first public comments on the topic. “We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now. He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, so you have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. He did a very good job when he was at the White House.”

It was “very sad.” Porter is “very sad.” But Porter did a “very good job” and has a “great career ahead of him,” because who wouldn’t want to hire a serial domestic abuser?

I get tired of saying it, but it’s true: Having that sexist sack of shit in the White House is a daily degradation, a wound that never really heals. But what’s even sadder than unemployed Porter is that it’s all so utterly unsurprising.

Of course Trump isn’t capable of expressing pro forma concern for the actual victims. Of course it did not occur to him to condemn domestic violence in general terms. In Trump’s mind, women are inferior creatures — it’s been clear for decades he believes this — and tens of millions of Americans, including millions of white women, are okay with that.

Squirrel-Proof Feeder (Open Thread)

[Hums “Mission Impossible” theme]

It’s just showing off now:

I love our miraculous white squirrel and hope it is never eaten by a cat, dog or hawk.

Margaret Atwood wrote a lovely tribute to Ursula Le Guin in The Post. Here’s an excerpt:

We lost Ursula Le Guin when we needed her most

When I heard that [Le Guin had died], I had an absurd vision based on the scene in her haunting fantasy novel “A Wizard of Earthsea,” in which the mage Ged tries to summon the spirit of a child back from the land of the dead. There was Ursula, moving calmly away down a hill of whispering sand under the unchanging stars; and there was me, distraught and running after her and calling: “No! Come back! We need you here and now!”

Especially now, in the land of normalized p—y-grabbing, the rollback of women’s rights on so many fronts but especially in health care and contraception, and the effort to squeeze women out of the workplace by those who, having failed to compete through skill and intellectual superiority, have weaponized their penises…

We can’t call Ursula K. Le Guin back from the land of the unchanging stars, but happily she left us her multifaceted work, her hard-earned wisdom and her fundamental optimism. Her sane, smart, crafty and lyrical voice is more necessary now than ever.

For it, and for her, we should be thankful.

To paraphrase something Cole said of Justice Ginsburg, I’m willing to serve as human bubble-wrap for Margaret Atwood for the next few years, if that would keep her safe. We need Atwood too.

Open thread!

More from the #WomensMarch: Photos from BJ Jackals

A beautiful bunch, one and all!

From commentor JackMac:

About 2,000 people attended a march through downtown Rockford, Ill. last Saturday. My favorite sign from the day.


From commentor ST:

Portland, Oregon. Over 100,000 estimated attendees. Zero arrests, and security provided by some antifa as well as police. No black bloc!


From commentor Suzanne:

Phoenix. A great time was had by all!

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Monday Morning Open Thread: Women #Resisting


Yeah, we’re gonna have to take the trash out on our own. There were more marches on Sunday, especially (as far as I can tell) in the West. More pics later today — send yours to if you want to share.

Apart from resisting the racists, sexists and general monsters, what’s on the agenda as we start the new week?

Dave Weigel, in the Washington Post, “Las Vegas Women’s March pivots from feminist protest to politics”:

LAS VEGAS — The Women’s March “Power to the Polls” rally unfolded 2,417 miles from the Capitol, in a city where the daily work of Washington feels even further away. But the day’s biggest cheers came when activists thanked Senate Democrats and said that the government shutdown should not end until immigrants brought to the United States as children won legal status.

“We stand in solidarity with the dreamers and with the senators who are fighting back and saying, they are Americans, too,” said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards.

“People are choosing my life for me right now,” said Astrid Silva, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program who spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. “You can protect us, every single one of you, here.”

The rally had been designed for politics, pivoting the Women’s March — the official organization, which has clashed with some affiliates and spinoffs — into a campaign to end Republican control of Congress and the states through mass voter registration.

The shutdown, which many activists said they had not expected, had clarified just what those politics were. Republicans have largely tied their fates and their 2018 organizing to their president; Democrats have largely followed the lead of a base that believes it can change the electorate by giving left-leaning non-voters reasons to join it…

Empowering Open Thread: The 2018 Women’s March


Okay, I got distracted. What I’d been seeing in advance about the 2018 Women’s March wasn’t always encouraging, and there was so much day-to-day churn from the Oval Office occupants. Should’ve known that the #Resistance is deeper and much, much stronger than its opposition…

[T]he energy behind the anti-Donald Trump protests that exploded a year ago, which turned everything from T-shirts to yoga into a form of political “resistance,” has started to coalesce into a surprisingly sophisticated political force ahead of November’s midterm elections.

“Last year we marched and we resisted and we organized, and now we’re going to bring that collective power to the polls,” said Bob Bland, co-chair of the Women’s March. “Moving into 2018, we need to look beyond just ‘resistance.'”

This weekend, the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration and the massive Women’s March that followed, there will be more marches — 389 are planned around the world. But organizers this year are more focused on a new political effort dubbed PowerToThePolls, which aims to register 1 million voters and will kick off Sunday in Las Vegas.

In fact, almost everyone involved in the “Resistance,” from scrappy new startups to venerable stalwarts like the American Civil Liberties Union, are turning their focus to the midterms, in which Democrats are trying to seize control of Congress from Republicans.

“Central to our philosophy is fighting the fight at hand. Last year, that was advocacy. This year it’s electoral,” said Ezra Levin, the co-founder of Indivisible, which started as an organizing guide and has since blossomed into a network of hundreds of local groups across the country. “It’s do or die for November.” …

Call it payback, call it a revolution, call it the Pink Wave, inspired by marchers in their magenta hats, and the activism that followed. There is an unprecedented surge of first-time female candidates, overwhelmingly Democratic, running for offices big and small, from the U.S. Senate and state legislatures to local school boards. At least 79 women are exploring runs for governor in 2018, potentially doubling a record for female candidates set in 1994, according to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University. The number of Democratic women likely challenging incumbents in the U.S. House of Representatives is up nearly 350% from 41 women in 2016. Roughly 900 women contacted Emily’s List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office from 2015 to 2016; since President Trump’s election, more than 26,000 women have reached out about launching a campaign. The group had to knock down a wall in its Washington office to make room for more staff.
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