Open Thread: Us Ladyfolk and Our Bean-Counting Grievances

There’s an old saying, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you can tell who’s been swimming naked.” And it’s only when a few brave, strong women fight their way into the conversation that you can tell which men have been using “Of course we’d hire more women, but… “ as a figleaf.

Just as President Obama’s campaign and presidency have been a (frequently embarrassing) revelation about how much racism was baked into “our” political system, the upcoming months and years are going to be enlightening for a lot of well-meaning ‘feminist’ men… not to mention the women in their lives.
.

Speaking of why feminism matters…



Wednesday Morning Open Thread: Yes We Can – Again!

Now *that* is how you give a victory speech, Mr. Trump.

Apart from rejoicing — and buckling down to the general — what’s on the agenda for the day?



It is Important to Bear Witness: The Victim’s Statement in the Stanford Rape Case

The prosecution of former Stanford University student athlete Brock Turner was mentioned in the comments to several threads yesterday. Mention of it shouldn’t be buried in comments to other threads, it needs to be on every front page of every site that is willing to post it.

Turner received a bizarrely short sentence after being convicted for raping a young woman, referred to as Emily Doe throughout the trial, attending a party at Stanford with her sister, who is a student at Stanford. As rape, sexual assault, and/or sexual harassment cases go, this one was fairly straightforward. There was no he said/she said here between the accuser and the accused. Turner was caught in the act of committing the rape by two men who stopped what they were doing, then stopped him, and kept him on site until the police arrived. Both of those men testified for the prosecution. Turner has failed to admit doing anything wrong other than being intoxicated and blamed his actions on being drunk. He has also blamed the victim’s also being intoxicated for contributing to his rape of her. Since his sentencing both Turner’s father and on of his friends have released letters of support for him that are, frankly tone deaf and also seem to ignore both what Turner did and the severity of the crime for which he’s now been rightfully convicted.

While there is a lot more that can be said about America’s attitudes to women, sex, bodily autonomy, disparities of the application and direction of Law, and how all this contributes to rape and sexual assault, those are topics for another day. Instead it is important to bear witness to the victim’s (survivor’s?) own words in the statement she gave to the Santa Clara Court prior to sentencing and to make sure it is disseminated as widely and broadly as possible. A statement that was seemingly ignored by the judge who presided over this case. Below is the video of CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield reading the victim’s statement, which is even more powerful when read; especially by a woman. For those that can’t make it through the video, I’ve posted the full transcript of the statement below the video and after the page jump as it is 12 pages long. The downloaded pdf of the transcript made available by the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office can be accessed by clinking on the link just before the video for those that prefer to read it that way.

Victim Impact Statement; Turner Prosecution.

Read more



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Onwards!


Claire Landsbaum, at NYMag‘s ladyblog The Cut:

[A]s Clinton said in her graduation speech at Wellesley College in 1969, “We found — as all of us have found — that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn’t a discouraging gap, and it didn’t turn us into cynical, bitter old women…It just inspired us to do something about the gap.”

Since last April, Clinton has been doing something about that gap. And with her presumptive nomination tonight, she’s finally shattered “that highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

Still some primaries today, of course — CA and NJ are getting the most attention — and chewing over the results should make for a busy evening regardless.

Apart from that, what’s on the agenda for the day?



Kind of a Big Fucking Deal

Breaking news from AP:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to become the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.

I remember watching the election returns in 2008 with tears in my eyes when President Obama became our first black president. And now we’re going to break the 229-year male lock on the Oval Office? “Proud to be a Democrat” — it’s not just a tag line!



Excellent Read: “Did Hillary’s Campaign Have to Be This Hard?”

This came out before last week’s speech in San Diego; every time I went to post it, something new had happened. Rebecca Traister, at NYMag, on “Hillary Clinton vs. Herself”:

… All the epic allusions contribute to the difficulty Clinton has long had in coming across as, simply, a human being. She is uneasy with the press and ungainly on the stump. Catching a glimpse of the “real” her often entails spying something out of the corner of your eye, in a moment when she’s not trying to be, or to sell, “Hillary Clinton.” And in the midst of a presidential campaign, those moments are rare. You could see her, briefly, letting out a bawdy laugh in response to a silly question in the 11th hour of the Benghazi hearings, and there she was, revealed as regular in her damned emails, where she made drinking plans with retiring Maryland senator and deranged emailer Barbara Mikulski. Her inner circle claims to see her — to really see her, and really like her — every day. They say she is so different one-on-one, funny and warm and devastatingly smart. It’s hard for people who know her to comprehend why the rest of America can’t see what they do.

I spent several days with Hillary Clinton near the end of primary season — which, in campaign time, feels like a month, so much is packed into every hour — and I began to see why her campaign is so baffled by the disconnect. Far from feeling like I was with an awkward campaigner, I watched her do the work of retail politics — the handshaking and small-talking and remembering of names and details of local sites and issues — like an Olympic athlete. Far from seeing a remote or robotic figure, I observed a woman who had direct, thoughtful, often moving exchanges: with the Wheelers, with home health-care workers and union representatives and young parents…

The sexism is less virulent now than it was in 2008, she said, but still she encounters people on rope lines who tell her, “ ‘I really admire you, I really like you, I just don’t know if I can vote for a woman to be president.’ I mean, they come to my events and then they say that to me.”

But, she maintains, “Unpacking this, understanding it, is for writers like you. I’m just trying to cope with it. Deal with it. Live through it.”

Here, Clinton laughed, as if living through it were a hilarious punch line…
Read more



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Working Hard

dave c josephine

Per commentor Dave C:

I work from home. Josephine helps!

***********

Because I can: In the NYTImes, Elizabeth Word Gutting, “What My Mother Sees in Hillary”:

IN 1973, my mother’s first husband was killed in a car crash in downtown St. Louis. My brother, Jason, was nine months old. In swift succession, my mother lost the following things: the father of her first child; access to a credit card; her car insurance; and the ability to take out a loan. The first was terrible luck. The other things were taken from her because she was a single woman — with a son, to boot — it was the 1970s, and, as she put it, “you were not considered legitimate at that time unless you had a man in your life.”

Four decades later, my mom is looking forward to having the chance to vote, she hopes, for this country’s first female president. She and Hillary Clinton are a year apart in age. Though my mom’s experiences are so different from my own, they serve as a constant reminder to me of the work it’s taken for Mrs. Clinton to get where she is today, and the force of society’s attitudes about women, and their value, that she has been pushing against…

At a town hall a few months ago, a young man asked Mrs. Clinton why young people lacked enthusiasm for her.

She sounded a bit wounded, but she tried to explain what she’d been up against for so many years. Despite all the criticisms, she said, over the course of several decades in the public eye, all she could do was continue to stand her ground…

In the years when my mom was a single mother, people commented on her lifestyle with alarming frequency. Why wasn’t she living with her parents, they wanted to know. Wasn’t she worried that if she didn’t marry again soon, her son would grow up to be gay? Her landlord came over after her husband died, hemming and hawing, saying how sorry she was, but also that she was hoping my mom might move out to be closer to family, which would probably be better for everyone.

Well. My mother persevered. She smiled politely and bit her tongue and did what she had to do to survive those rough years…