You do me proud, people of social media. Your steadfast, no bullshit approach to the conservative funded PR blast was spectacular.
You give me hope for a better future.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have heard about Nick Sandmann smirking and menacing Native American Nathan Phillips.
You will also have witnessed the rapid ascent of a conservative PR firm “script flipping” the narrative, surrounding the events that occured.
You can read some really good accounts of it here and here.
A really good narrative can cast doubts in the minds of average people.
Average people don’t question the narrative, they don’t research, they don’t question their own internal biases, they don’t even examine if they do have internal biases.
How do you get around people like that?
In a world where average people hold sway over the lives of those in vulnerable positions. A world where those average people are told what to think, how to think, when to think. Like a mass army of minions, a sleeper cell of bots, ready to turn on marginalized people at any moment. Sometimes even against each other.
For me, I’ve found standing my ground, standing firm, has helped. But it has not been a perfect solution. Because they are always writing, scripting, a narrative that benefits them and causes you harm.
So again, how do we get around people like this. All those average people who think they’re so smart. Looking at the world through their own warped lense. Gleaning the information which only reconfirms their own internal dialogue.
Walls are more than a metaphor, a wall is a real blood brain barrier, a cognitive barrier that is viciously guarded. Like any wall, there are weak points and there are strong points. We can’t know what or where those weak points are and we can guess at the strong points. But we’d only be guessing.
The reality is that our messaging isn’t for the protagonist, it’s for their followers.
We aren’t tearing down walls. We are planting seeds. These seeds will take hold, their roots will run deep and search out those weak spots on their own. Our only job is to spread the message, work with legislators, and activist groups to get the message out.
We know this method works because it’s been used for decades. It was used to change public opinion surrounding women’s right to vote, the right of slaves to be free, and the right for people to marry whom they love. It’s a system of messaging that creates a shift in public consciousness.
I am looking for people to help me flip the script, tear down the patriarchal narrative which surrounds and intertwines itself throughout our everyday lives.
As I was making my way home, I passed through White-Marts overly expansive auto squatting lot.
I scanned my way through welfare for auto’s and yielded to foot traffic as appropriate. Upon completing my turn into the home stretch lane, I scanned for male centrist autos driven by any person behind the wheel.
As I approached the stop sign, I witnessed a white pick up truck careening off the main road, his white truck bouncing over the curb, the rear end fishtailing as he hit the gas.
Visually calculating the distance, I knew there wouldn’t be time to make it through the squatting lot intersection and avoid the large white man who occupied the large white truck.
None of the rules applied to him.
He was normal.
I was not.
He gave me a white, shit eating grin, from behind the white whiskers framing his white face, as he sat behind the wheel of his white truck. His large white thumb sticking up in the oppressive air which surrounded him.
“Thank you for following the rules of the road,” his actions screamed, as he himself broke several.
Pedaling off from my power position, pedal up, as my weight propelled me forward.
I looked over my shoulder and signaled to him that he was indeed number one.
Normative male centrist society, from which sprung forth the auto, has classified rules which dominate all others. By default, you and I are ‘other’.
The culture around “Those rule breaking bicyclists,” perfectly sums up a micro view of normative white culture.
My two disadvantages are being a woman on a bicycle. It irks me to no end when white men co-opt rape culture to ‘prove’ their victimization. Which isn’t to say that they can’t be victims of a crime. But they will never be a black man, woman, LGBTQ, and a victim of a crime
For that white man, he momentarily becomes other(ized) as he climbs on his bicycle. This other(ing) is brief and surface deep. Like dipping a toe in to test the temperature of the otherness water.
These men, who also invented the bicycle, before rapidly tossing it for the much more exclusionary auto, can not be the voice of bicycle advocacy.
They are, as a whole, crushing any forward momentum we have obtained.
Only recently have I found a few men, who have grasped the concept that you can not rationalize with the irrational and male culture is irrational, full stop.
People who drive, break as many “rules of the road” as anyone else who doesn’t drive. But Pedestrians and Bicyclists bear the brunt of being labeled a wanton rule breaker.
Any motorist, no matter their race or gender identity, is participating in, propping up, and re-establishing white normative culture as the default culture when they ‘other’ anyone traveling on foot or using alternative transportation, such as a bicycle.
Douglas Bruce Ford, Jr. is a Canadian businessperson and politician in Toronto, Ontario. Ford was Toronto City Councillor for Ward 2 Etobicoke North in Toronto from 2010 to 2014 at the same time that his brother, Rob Ford, was mayor of Toronto. Wikipedia
Robert Bruce “Rob” Ford is a Canadian politician and businessperson who is a Toronto City Councillor. He was the 64th Mayor of Toronto, serving from 2010 to 2014. Prior to being mayor, Ford was a city councillor. Wikipedia
Car centric societies have no business engineering bicycle specific infrastructure. They aren’t qualified. You can not live your entire life driving a car and think that your engineering degree makes you fit to design bicycle specific infrastructure. You can’t do it. It’s like hiring someone who only walks, and has never driven, to design the roads you drive on. You would consider them unqualified, no matter how extensive their engineering knowledge or how many framed bits of expensive paper they have hanging on their wall.
You have to feel bicycling.
Local cycling advocate Tyler P. wants to ride his bicycle. He has a job, he goes to school, he shops, pays taxes, and is an all around responsible person.
He is a first class citizen being treated with second class status.
Because he rides a bicycle.
Toronto a.k.a. ‘Car’onto thanks to politicians like the “Ford’s” is vastly lopsided in its engineering practices. These engineering policies affect the entire province of Ontario, including the city of St. Catharines in the Niagara region.
Tyler P. has been actively reaching out to the local administration in the Niagara region and asking them for
These are temporary signs that he is asking to be placed until the new construction is complete.
As it stands now. There is a 1.2 meter sidewalk and the city of St. Catharines is asking cyclist to dismount and walk their bicycles across a bridge.
It’s a long walk.
Bicycling for transportation is fun. It’s also healthy, good for the environment, and easy on the wallet. The number one response from cyclists when asked why they enjoy cycling is “FREEDOM.”
You can’t get that with a car, even if you made it 100% free in every aspect you would still be hemmed in, limited, and stuck in traffic. That is the nature of autos.
Car centric societies are jealous of the freedom which cycling brings and it’s why people blame cyclists for their traffic problems, try to pass laws restricting them, and gamers design infra which hems cyclists in on every side.
Why can’t he just ride in the lane?
Well he can. Legally in St. Catharines, and all of Canada, Tyler’s bicycle is a vehicle and he is legally allowed to occupy the full lane of travel. Which is why he is asking for the sign. Tyler knows what he can do. That’s not the problem. The problem is that people driving autos will make his life a living hell for exercising his rights. Because they are
Uneducated on the equal status of bicycles as vehicles.
Educated by auto ads that their auto is “like a family member,” and we all put our family before strangers.
Car culture breeds lazy, distracted, and passive driving.
Namely tyler doesn’t want to be harassed.
There has been Twitter mention to the authorities in charge of this project to take into consideration the needs of the cyclist before after the construction is completed. As it stands now the bridge is being built to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists as an afterthought.
There is a real problem with bicycle infra that project engineers, city planners, and cycling advocates like to pretend doesn’t exist.
All transportation engineers put every measure into insuring that autos can operate at maximum speed with safety. They put very little of this same safety culture into bicycle design. Everyone assumes all cyclists are going to operate at super slow speed. I can tell you from experience that cyclists do not, and most will not, operate at the speeds for which you are designing their infra.
You create unsafe places for cyclists, pass laws mandating that cyclists must use these unsafe facilities, and then scratch your heads and conduct million dollar research studies to figure out why cyclists keep dying after all that effort.
Go ride your bike!
I’m talking to you transportation engineers.
In the meantime. Can we put a little lean on the people in charge of the Burgoyne bridge in St.Catharines, Ontario and get Tyler P. the help he needs in creating space for cycling?
When it’s done it will have painted lanes at the edge
And on a highly trafficked bridge some paint on the road is completely unacceptable. If a cyclist can be harassed for safely controlling their lane. Then the city has a moral responsibility to create a protected space. Not just from auto’s but from the debris that they push into bike lanes. (It’s why I prefer to cycling in the travel lane. Those nice people in their autos keep them swept clean.)
Please contact the names listed and go to their FB page.
Nicely! Ask them to support cycling.
Do it for yourself, Do it for cycling, Do it for the environment, But above all!
The image at the top is what happens when cyclists ride on the edge of a highway. This is our story on how we learned the easy way to stay safe.
When I first started out, I didn’t have a clue but now I know.
I know that the biggest problem with getting people to accept cycling as a viable means of transportation is not a lack of bike lanes. It is instead the human condition. What we lack is knowledge and critical thinking skills. This idea that you have to be “fearless” to ride a bicycle on certain roads is complete bunk. Knowledge of the laws and why we have said laws or rather the lack of such knowledge is far more crippling to cycling than the lack of bike lanes.
How can I be so sure?
Because I was faced with the choice of keeping my kids locked up and confined to a small town. A town which doesn’t have a single movie theater, museum, or anything remotely kid friendly for entertainment. A town that moved it’s one form of entertainment a.ka. the local library, and put it so far out of reach that we had to ride our bicycles through a high-speed road where dump trucks were accessing the entrance to the local rock quarry. A town where there isn’t a single bike lane and all roads are driven at 35 mph or greater regardless of signage. A town where a family of five burned up in a fiery high-speed crash and a pedestrian was mowed down while crossing her residential street to visit a neighbor.
My choice was to educate my children on how to safely group ride from one town to the next.
In the beginning they were nervous and my youngest said she was down right scared. I told her that if we decided it was too scary we would turn back and go home.
So we discuss our route. I explain where we are going to ride on the shoulder and I explain where we are not going to ride on the shoulder. I explain the different movements that vehicles make and discuss driving theory 101 with them.
We pretend to be people driving cars and one of us pretends to be on the edge as a cyclist. They get a first person experience in a closed environment and learn about why people drive the way they do and how we can prevent common mistakes.
We start out.
The first thing we do is turn onto the shoulder at the junction of Wichita lane and U.S. 27. Very quickly we approach that section where riding on the shoulder is no longer safe. Motorists go flying past us at full speed. 60 mph + onto the off ramp. We are not a part of traffic. We are irrelevant to them. We stop and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. It starts to get tense. Sitting still while cars go flying past you is very uncomfortable. There on the edge my daughters fear rises as motorists blindly fly by, her anxiety climbs. I’m feeling it too. As soon as it is clear, we dart across the on ramp and continue on the shoulder. Things go well. My daughter starts to feel better and before we know it we are now at the off ramp. This is the junction where U.S. 29 meets U.S. 27. It is important to note that these ramps are marked as 15 mph. However they are engineered in such a way that you can take them at full speed and take them at full speed the locals do.
We all stop in the center “no mans” land. It was the shoulder but now it is an island of doom. Cars are whizzing past us on both sides. The break comes sooner than last time and we make our way onto the road. This time we do something different. We ride the travel lane. The shoulder here is like all the other shoulders covered in rumble strips, broken glass, gravel, bits of metal shards and other garbage strewn across it. The travel lane is smooth and worry free.
As we bike down the high-speed road I ask my daughter how she feels. “This is a lot better than the shoulder” she says, I was surprised. Shocked really. I was sure that she would “feel safer” on the shoulder. My daughter explains: “When I was on the shoulder all these cars were just whizzing by us like weren’t even there. Once we were on the road it was like they saw us and a lot of people slowed down and passed us at slower speeds. I didn’t have to worry about someone running into us”.
We ride the travel lane over to Etter Dr. and after we make it through the intersection we move back to the shoulder at my request. Both kids were asking why we had to be on the shoulder. My son was saying “Come on mom. We can be in the travel lane. Let’s just move over.” I was determined to keep us on the shoulder and we kept on going. Right up until we came to Raising Cane’s. This is another section of road where the engineers designed a nice high-speed right turn. My fear is that someone will take that right turn at typical speed and plow right into us. So we waited and waited and waited and waited for traffic to clear. Then we carefully navigated the rumble strip and we rode the travel lane. Once again the anxiety that had been building in the kids quickly dissipated and even though we were honked at and screamed at by passing motorists. Everyone enjoyed their ride in the travel lane. People in cars noticed us. They slowed down to normal speeds and acknowledged us with honks and screams. We shook our heads at the sorry ass motorists and kept on biking.
We went through the intersection and just like before, we signaled and moved onto the shoulder. Same thing again. Ride the shoulder, anxiety increases, fear mounts, and then we come to an area that is no longer even remotely safe to be in so we move over to the travel lane and the anxiety decreases, the fear disappears and we are safer than we were before.
Motorists are anxious. They don’t like us to be in the travel lane. They honk at us. Scream at us. Call us idiots. But we are not idiots. We feel safe and carefree in the travel lane. It was after all built and engineered for traffic. The rules of the road are dictated by the lane. We are following the rules of the road and it feels good. My daughter laughs. My son shrugs his shoulders and rolls his eyes. Life is good.
As we wait at the light that intersects Business U.S. 27 from U.S. 27 I ask them if they want to move over to the shoulder after we get past the on ramp. They say “NO”. We are safer here in the lane they insist. I shrug and say o.k. but inside I am bursting with pride. My kids are smarter than Andy Clarke of L.A.B. infamy and Carl Overton of Lexington who at 30 something is afraid to ride his bicycle on anything other than 25 mph roads.
Cars drive past in the left lane. We ride on in the right lane. My kids are practically bouncing up and down on their respective seats. “This is fun!” my daughter screams at a motorist who aggressively honks as they pass us. They flip her the bird. She laughs and flips them the bird back. “Fuck them” she says. I chide her on her language. “They flipped me the bird first.” she says. We agree to let it go and continue our ride.
We make our first pit stop at Catnip Hill Road. We stop at the BP and get sodas. We talk about the route so far. We discuss how we felt on the shoulder as opposed to the travel lane. My kids are practically walking on air. They high-five each other and shout “We are riding the travel lane.” and off we go.
We take a left from Catnip Hill Road back onto U.S. 27 and this is where the safety of the travel lane is re-enforced into our mental psyche. As we are riding along a motorist comes flying out of a local strip mall shopping center and slams to a halt right on the shoulder. You can see from the tire marks on the pavement that this is normal motorist behavior. My son says “Good thing we weren’t on the shoulder”. My daughter says “Yea, they would have hit us for sure.” We ride on.
As we continue down U.S. 27 I point out the potholes, rumble strips, and broken pavement. They point out the rocks, gravel, and broken glass. We all agree that the travel lane is best.
We had a great time in Lexington and half the fun was traveling there. We rode back home without incident and on the way back my daughter said “I can’t believe I was afraid to ride my bike.”
Fear for fears sake
Fear of the unknown
Propaganda fueled rhetoric about making cycling safer isn’t helping anyone. So shut up and put up. If you can’t ride the ride then you have no place deciding what is or isn’t safe.
I had been listening to “Why is this happening?” a podcast by Chris Hayes. In this episode, he featured Mariame Kaba, a transformative justice advocate and prison abolitionist. One of the striking moments of the podcast was when Mariame opened up about her own sexual abuse trauma. In it, she explains that people’s traumas are valid and they are important for us to consider, however, society cannot be governed by how to address things mainly by people’s traumas and their fears. She goes on to explain that she is a survivor of rape and that she was what she terms a reactionary survivor. Mariame explains that she did not have an analysis of what had happened to her. That she was an incredibly hurt and harmed individual, who wanted nothing but violence against the person who had harmed her. That ultimately what she wanted was revenge.
She points out that had she been put on a panel of sexual assault survivors, without processing the trauma she had experienced, she would have advocated for the death penalty for all rapists. She points out that that is no way to govern a society.
The answer cannot be to go around and use capital punishment against everyone who has harmed us.
I highly recommend listening to the entire podcast which has been linked to in the opening paragraph.
I bring this up because there is a movement within bicycle advocacy to weaponize the trauma experienced by bicyclists and use their trauma to make broad and sweeping laws to “protect” bicyclists. These people are living in trauma. I know because I used to be one of them. I commuted by bicycle daily, 32 miles round trip, and experienced wave after wave of cruelty and harm from people operating cars around me.
The trauma I experienced was real and I’m still processing through it. But I’ve come far enough in my personal growth to recognize that what we are fighting against is not individuals behind steering wheels. No. What we, as bicyclists are up against is a society that has built a system of White Supremacy into the very roads we operate on.
Justice, for us, is not stricter laws, it is not segregation, and it is not education as a stand-alone response to the trauma that we experience on public roads. What we need, as a community, is transformative justice. We need a society that prioritizes people over speed, communities over roads, and our humanity over infrastructure. We need to be treated as equal members of society, deserving of the same respect automatically granted to people operating motor vehicles.
And often, when we advocate for stricter laws, there is a rebound effect in which the police then use those laws, which were intended to protect us, to harm us.
We need to hold our elected officials accountable and we each need to process through our trauma, so that we can run for office and make the changes that we know to be just and fair to a society focused on equality.
People should not have to drive to get a gallon of milk. Kids should not grow up with glorified cartoons of automobiles as their introduction to our roads. Teenagers and young adults should not be wooed by slick films glorifying dangerous speeds and irresponsible driving. Does that mean that we banish these things or outlaw them? No!
It means that we educate parents to raise socially responsible children, school programs, high school volunteer programs and public PSA’s about the realities of speed and what happens to the human body, even when it is surrounded by a seat belt and steel, in a high-speed crash. We build walkable communities and we educate our police to be good examples, at least until we can abolish them altogether. Because a society that is ruled by the police is a society that is ruled by fear and fear is trauma.
We need programs for people who have transgressed basic laws to experience life on a bicycle. There should be training programs by certified bicycling instructors that allow motorists to travel their roads on a bike or a trike. We can implement stricter licensing requirements and require drivers to pass a bicycle operating equivalency test.
We can build up community and support for those who are harmed. City financed trauma counseling and recovery from harm programs, which center the needs of the victims. Allowing them to heal and return to society as whole people.
Our country was founded on the myth of white supremacy and it is this myth which frames our way of thinking. We need a fresh outlook and a new way of understanding the world around us. One of the ways to achieve these results will be to center victims of auto violence and find out what justice really looks like to them after they’ve had healing space to process through their trauma.
Men will tell you that voting for a woman, because she is a woman, is wrong headed and biased. He’ll tell you that men understand the issues surrounding Americans just as well as a woman does. That beyond their ability to bear children, women are just like men. So vote for the better man.
A woman’s lived experience is not the same as that of men.
Nuanced interactions lead to nuanced thoughts, which the average man will never experience, in any meaningful way. If you have, then you’re not average and this statement doesn’t apply to you.
Can men listen?
Do men listen?
I appreciate and value those men who center the marginalized people in their lives. They are few and far inbetween.
Who you center is more important than who you value.
You can value black lives and you can value women, but if you are not centering them, you aren’t putting your hand to the plow. Words and good intentions don’t mean anything in a society run by men, bound up in the power of whiteness.
What is the power of whiteness?
The power of whiteness is the structure of patriarchy. It is a power which centers men and men only. The men of color and the women who support these men are side shows. Though they can often be portrayed as features. The proof is in their willingness to stand on their own. To advocate for the people in their community. Watch what is done to them when and if they do. What you’ll see is the men of color and the women upholding patriarchy removed from the spotlight.
Their power lies in the one who gave it to them. Not in the communities they represent.
Which is why it is your job to educate yourself on the differences in power structures. To know whiteness when you see it. Even if it is presented to you by the face of a black man, a white woman, and even a black woman. Whiteness is a structure in the house of patriarchy.
These men and women are chosen to deliver the message of whiteness. To plant the seeds which will take root in shallow minds, run deep, and break down barriers to their intended path. Yes, this powerful messaging system works for good and evil.
Though the structures it builds, from the ruins it created, are fragile and easily damaged by the witness of moral justice.
The shallowest mind can see that locking children in cages is morally repugnant. Their witness is not a victory, it’s a small light which needs to be fed, until it is a scourging fire in the souls of all who witness it. When a Republican representative shows horror at children in cages, don’t be aghast, when they turn around and vote for an equally brutal policy, but with better window dressing. Keep fighting and holding them accountable.
Our country lacks accountability.
We are told that there is nothing we can do. It is all shrugs and well wishes when a black woman is run out of political office in Vermont. A white man ran her out of office but it is we who are collectively to blame. We gave him power, we gave him agency, we gave him voice. You did this. It is your fault. You need to make it right. I need to make it right.
“If federal programs were not, even to this day, reinforcing racial isolation by disproportionately directing low-income African Americans who receive housing assistance into the segregated neighborhoods that government had previously established, we might see many more inclusive communities. Undoing the effects of de jure segregation will be incomparably difficult. To make a start, we will first have to contemplate what we have collectively done and, on behalf of our government, accept responsibility.”
― Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America
Accepting responsibility for the actions or inactions of others has traditionally been woman’s work. Women have more experience when it comes to cleaning up the mess men leave behind. We’ve seen the steadfast leadership of Nancy Pelosi. We’ve witnessed the misogynistic attacks on her femaleness and her age.
Anyone suggesting that voting for a woman is biased, is someone with an agenda. A hidden thing they don’t want you to see.
Women are carrying the anger of men on their shoulders. It’s not their responsibility, it’s not their job. But we’ve been told it is a woman’s job and we’ve been told that it is our fault, if/when hate comes in.
Ms Morris says friends and colleagues tried to convince her to change her mind. After her announcement, Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, offered to support her re-election, warning that her resignation would allow the forces of hate to win.
That, according to Ms Morris, is victim-blaming.
“The systems need to change to support individuals in office so that they do not have to live in fear and terror,” she says. “These are incredibly violent times, and I do not feel any need to martyr myself or my family.”
It can’t fall on her, she says – or on any one person – to try to fix a broken system. It takes a “chorus of people”. via BBC
The same men who could have centered her, did not. The same women who could have called their local police department and demand accountability, did not.
We are the reason she left. This is our fault. This is your fault. This is my fault.
“We did everything that we were told to do, reported everything, held nothing back and trusted in a system that, in the end, was insufficient and inept at addressing and repairing the harm done… we were told there was nothing to be done.” via Raw Story
There is something we can do.
We can work at local levels, state levels, federal levels to make sure that marginalized people are centered in policy.
*Authors note: Through out this blog, there are blue hyper links. To get the most out of this article, you’ll need to click on and read them.
In the course of a week, I have seen a mediocre white man gain a popularity of re-tweets over a question.
Which was later changed to:
One of the first things that struck me about these tweets was the sexist nature of the question. I was also struck by the ignorance of the author. What would lead a man to believe that women were to blame for trump?
The majority of Republican voters is comprised of men. So why are we blaming women? As though all the woes of the world can be reduced to allowing women the vote. I may have just answered my own question. 🙂
But assuming that the author of the tweets isn’t subtly bemoaning the rights of women to vote, I want to share what I’ve learned about why women, even some black women, vote Republican.
It starts and ends with power, given to women, by men, under the construct of patriarchy.
The creation of Patriarchy.
Gerda Lerner wrote a book titled “The Creation of Patriarchy” and I came across this book via a YouTube channel titled “The Black Ponderer.” I had been researching the phenomenon which has become known as the “White Woman Vote,” and how it was being used to marginalize and downgrade women, as the source of our current woes.
Never mind the fact that the gender which overwhelmingly voted for trump was in fact the male.
So how are women being blamed for a majority of male votes?
How trump uses the KGB’s “Divide and Conquer” tactic’s on Americans.
Basically we got trump trolled.
“Women!” he yelled. “Women, we love you. We love you.
“Hey, didn’t we surprise them with women during the election? Remember? ‘Women won’t like Donald Trump,’ ” he said, mimicking cable news pundits. “I said, ‘Have I really had that kind of a problem? I don‘t think so.’ But: ‘Women won’t like Donald Trump. It will be a rough night for Donald Trump because the women won’t come out.’ We got 52 percent. Right? Fifty-two.
“And I’m running against a woman! You know it’s not that easy,” Trump said.
And it was so easy to believe. Thanks to decades of white women using patriarchy to manipulate black people in their community.
The KGB has used divide and conquer tactics since its inception. I am not an expert or even a novice in the methods of the KGB, so I can’t go into great detail here. But I can explain a few things I’ve learned on a surface level.
The first thing that the KGB has been very effective with is their use of information. Or rather their use of disinformation.
In today’s society, the average person believes that we live in an egalitarian society and that our laws, such as divorce laws, greatly favor women. Speaking to the average person in my small social circle. I find that the greater portion of men and women have a hard time understanding the pay gap. After all, they were hired in at the same pay rate as their fellow man. So to their mind, the pay gap is just one of those made up feminist issues that hysterical women like to complain about. After all, in their minds, feminist equals man hater.
Russian intelligence knows American culture and they understand the way the average American thinks.
We are raised on television and popular media. Most of which have overtones, if not out right, patriarchal themes. It is those man made boundaries that the trump administration seeks to exploit. With the help of divide and conquer disinformation campaigns.
First this phenomenon rolled out as black women against white women. Then it moved to all black people who are picked on by white women. (This is an actual phenomenon and it is not my intention to make light of it.) Then it was white men who supported black women but had no problem being misogynistic pricks to white women because these men will use black women to police the behavior of other women. It’s a dirty misogynistic trick and plays beautifully into the KGB’s divide and conquer subversion.
The roll that our media plays.
I never saw so many journalists dig into the women vote, which later became known as the white women vote, with such glee. Never mind the millions of men who voted for trump, they were excused from having to be held accountable for their actions. As is often the case with men, we are quick to forgive them there transgressions, after all “Boys will be boys.”
Where are all the mainstream media articles admonishing the white man and the 13% of black men, who voted for trump? Even when I do find articles about the non-white and non-hetero normative male vote for trump, I find these articles are often full of empathy, or rather #Himpathy, for these people.
There is an interesting phenomenon in the GOP. This was studied by the UCLA, which has an impeccable track record in studies. What they found is that the GOP was made up by normative women. Not just white women, but “Normative” women from all racial backgrounds.
Remember Gerda Lerner and “The Creation of Patriarchy?”
“Female politicians with stereotypically feminine facial features are more likely to be Republican than Democrat, and the correlation increases the more conservative the lawmaker’s voting record,” said lead author Colleen M. Carpinella, a UCLA graduate student in psychology.
Women who conform to patriarchal standards of attractiveness to men, make up the bulk of females in the GOP.
But it’s not just women in the GOP who can be described as having these attributes. The average female representative of the majority white evangelical movement, is made up of women that men find innately “doable.”
As is noted in the book “Splintered Sisterhood” by Susan Marshall
Anti-suffragists countered demands for women’s enfranchisement by contending that political participation would coarsen the gentle female character and endanger the family, the bulwark of society. They repeatedly disclaimed any interest in politics and often delegated to men the front-stage management of referendum campaigns while continuing their work behind the scenes. They differentiated themselves from suffragists through an exaggerated discourse of femininity, defending their “birthright of beauty, of serenity, of faith” and entreating male voters for protection from “the life of manifold activities our modern sister would have us assume.”
This doesn’t mean that every attractive woman, by male standards, is a member of Evangelical Christianity or that their preferred political party is the GOP. But rather, these are the women that they are actively trying to recruit into their fold.
Hot women attract more men.
In the construct of patriarchy, if you’re feminine enough, men will do whatever it takes to “protect” you from those man hating feminists.
The policing of women.
52% of of men voted for trump and we don’t hear the media talk about our male voter problem.
Women who voted for trump, apart from their male counterparts, are zeroed in on, with laser like focus. As though patriarchy was a thing which only exists in the imaginations of feminists.
This article is limited in scope and won’t delve into how women support patriarchy. Instead, I want to talk about why there are women who support the patriarchy.
It is a problem which begins and ends with men. Namely the power they still command in society.
There is an interesting aspect to all of this, which when siloed, makes very little sense. When we put those parts together, we see a bigger picture.
If you follow Chris Stroop or if you’ve read any of his published work on Evangelicals, you’ll know that the Republican party has been reduced to a cult. A party which once stood for independence, freedom, and economic success for small business’ has now become a party of misogynistic racists bent on destroying anyone who isn’t a normative cisheteropatriarchy person.
In short, this is a hetero normative male problem. But how do women participate in that hetero normativity? First we’ll have to go back in history a bit.
Once nomadic man began to settle down and cast aside their hunter gatherer ways, they found it beneficial to have a system which allowed them to amass their wealth. This system was beneficial for women too. The women enjoyed the privilege of living in a society as revered mother of… and the wife of… Both of which are societal distinctions.
Now I’m not suggesting that they had it easy or that they were treated with great care or respect. No. What I am saying is that a system of protections were put into place, which allowed women to thrive, albeit within a narrow margin of space. One which was and still is, set by men.
All through the history of society, we see men dominating the fields of science, writing, and art. But! If we dig a little deeper, we see that there are women who have been granted higher status in society. Women who have made scientific breakthroughs, created masterpieces, and written powerful books. What is often looked over is that these women, these trail blazers, are predominately white married women, who enjoy luxuries afforded to them by the men in their lives. Whether it be a doting father or a benevolent husband. These women would not have created their works without the patriarchal assistance of men. And they needed this assistance because men put them in a position of needing it in the first place.
These women were the beginning of feminism, albeit a feminism that didn’t push too hard on the boundaries created by a patriarchal construct.
Fast forward to women’s suffrage and we find that the anti-suffrage movement was not a movement of men, but rather a movement of upper class white women, who enjoyed the privileges granted to them by a patriarchal system.
Beginning in the 1870s and continuing even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, antisuffrage served the “”gendered class interests”” of its members, notably the upper-class founders, who already possessed excellent, albeit informal, access to power via family connections. Not merely a front for men, it was a dynamic movement that changed its attitudes and tactics over time, and was effective enough that suffragists reformulated their own arguments to counter those of their opponents. Book Review
Galloping forward to the exoneration of men.
Women are not giving tree’s as noted by feminist philosopher and author Kate Manne.
“The Giving Tree gives everything she has to her beloved boy, and he never says thank you,” Manne said. “In the end she is an amputated stump, and people still think this is a beautiful story. If nothing else, maybe just switch the genders. If you must tell the story, just switch it up.”
Manne believes this story reveals a greater culture that takes advantage of women and absolves men. She sees the boy’s behavior as indicative of male entitlement, while the tree’s generosity symbolizes female obligation.
It is through the male construct, that we have women who are voting against their own best interests and the best interests of their daughters. Voting for a future which will oppress and possibly even kill their daughters.
But they’re doing it because voting GOP gives their sons the best possible future in a male dominate society. Sacrificing their women children for their male children. The proverbial giving tree.
The construct of marriage is the foundation.
Married women enjoy a higher social standing in society, as compared to their unmarried counterparts. This is but one example and it is not intended to be a whole summarization on the wrongs of patriarchy. Many a feminist man and woman enjoy a healthy relationship. The problem isn’t in the act of being married, but rather the unspoken and often tangible social benefits given to women who are married. A married woman has nearly the same societal benefits as an unmarried man.
The class system which she operates in, has benefits that her unmarried contemporaries do not enjoy.
I’m fully aware of the pitfalls of marriage, especially to an ill suited spouse. What I’m talking about are the subtle and not so subtle societal privileges granted to married women that unmarried women do not have the benefit of. Much like the societal benefits granted to individuals who claim Christianity as their religion. These people enjoy privileges which are not reflected in their counterparts, such as compared to someone who is an Atheist or of a different religion. Our society still presumes that a married woman is more trustworthy and dependable than an unmarried woman.
And I’m not even talking about marriage itself. Because these same privileges granted to a hetero normative couple are not enjoyed by an LGBTQ married couple.
I’m talking about the elevation of status that being associated with a hetero normative man brings. These men are still the dominant class in society and they are the ones that we worry and fawn over.
Women who are enjoined with a hetero normative man have higher class privileges than women who are not.
Power is a seductive drug. Men and women will do whatever it takes to keep that power.
Which is exactly what we saw in the 2016 election.
Men and their female counterparts were horrified at the idea of a strong woman in the highest office of the U.S. Government. And the jokes by men and women about what we would call Bill Clinton, were Hillary to win, were sexist and demeaning. Though I am certain that a lot of people were genuinely scratching their heads. (Google search on the subject.)
The societal norms that women, enjoined to a man, enjoy under a patriarchy, while not great, absolutely beat trying to make it on your own.
Life for single moms is rough. I mean down and dirty rough.
We still live in a society which greatly favors men. But not just any men. No. Those men most revered are the white hetero normative Christian. And those are the men who gave trump the vote. With full-throated support from their wives.
We are talking about women who buy into the construct of patriarchy, not because it suites them to punish feminists, but because they enjoy the privileges that patriarchy has given them through out the millennia.
This patriarchy has never been richer than in Westernized Judeo-Christianity and the Eastern Orthodox church. As well as the misogyny in eastern religions. Religion holds marriage as sanctimonious and elevates women in these societies.
The women who voted for trump, the evangelicals who voted for trump, and the conservatives from all backgrounds who voted for trump, all have one unifying commonality. That is their belief in patriarchy as the normal order of society.
Patriarchy ushered trump into office and it is normative men who are to blame.
Just because an article is written by a woman, doesn’t mean that the author is a feminist, familiar with feminist theory, or is aware of her own misogynistic slant.
Yes, women are misogynists too. It is these women who voted trump.
If you found the above thought provoking. I have listed below, some articles that you will find enlightening.