Over the past few days I’ve watched several Trump surrogates attempt to deflect questions from women, young girls, and reporters about the recent allegations against Donald Trump.
Mike Pence, when given a question asked by an eleven year-old girl who felt disheartened by Trump’s language, switched to a conversation about foreign policy.
Ben Carson, when pressed by a female reporter to answer whether or not he believed the allegations against Trump, started talking about the economy–and then asked if they could switch the reporter’s mic off so he could keep talking…about the economy.
There’s a reason why women keep ‘harping’ on about this stuff, you dimwits.
This is the stuff that matters to women.
This matters. Our needs and our bodies and the right to exist without stumpy fingers inserting themselves somewhere—-literally or metaphorically. That shit is important. This stuff matters.
That’s why we’re grabbing you by the (metaphorical) balls on this one and not letting it go. Despite the deflections and the denials and the redirection, it’s not going to go away. (Note: don’t try redirection on mothers who have survived multiple Target toy aisle meltdowns. We’re the masters of redirection.)
Look, obviously the economy is important. Foreign policy is important. And national security and a hundred other things. They are what I call ‘Big Game’ stuff. They are the Hunter Policies: How do we protect jobs? How do we secure our borders? Trade deals. Chest thump. Meat roasting over an open fire.
But in our insistence upon focusing solely on the Big Game stuff, we often ignore the policies which affect day-to-day living, working, and raising kids, saying alive and unmolested: The Gatherer Policies.
How am I going to get to work when my kid is sick? Can I afford to take time off work because the American maternity leave hasn’t progressed past the stone age? What am I going to do if my birth control fails because we can’t afford another kid? How do I protect my child if he/she is gay or transgender? Do I feel safe going out for a run? How am I going to be caretaker to both my children and my parents? Is that guy at work who is brushing up against me and commenting about my breasts going to block my promotion?
Our ancestors knew that protein was critical to survival. But they also knew their newly formed tribes and communities would not survive without the day-to-day sustenance that gathering provided. Not to mention the small task of securing the survival of the species by caring for the next generation.
Yet those damn hunters. They get all the credit.
Grabbing women without consent? It’s important. But it is also a metaphor for this election. When it becomes clear that you can’t even understand WHY women are pissed about this, it becomes crystal clear that lots of men have NOT BEEN LISTENING AT ALL.
For many women, those ‘social issues’? It’s the shit that keeps us up at night. Because they seem less significant than things like foreign policy, they often get subsumed. They get buried under all the Big Game stuff. Men often don’t worry about things like bodily autonomy because it is not an issue for them. Reproductive rights are abstract rights for men. Family leave affects them, but in a financial sense. They are not the ones who are limping back to work with stitches from an episiotomy still in place.
This is the stuff that matters to many women. And for centuries our needs and wants and political desires have been largely ignored. The berries get overlooked in praise of the meat.
In recent times, sex and gender roles have blurred. More women are bringing home the big game bacon and more men are doing their share of metaphorical berry-gathering. But that doesn’t mean the Gathering policies are any less important. On the contrary.
The fact that forcing yourself on someone is wrong and indicative of a larger issue should be pretty damn easy to understand. It really doesn’t get more basic than that. Thou shalt not grab pu**y. Most women just assume it is a basic guarantee, filed away under life, liberty and the pursuit of unmolested happiness.
But for a lot of people, it would seem that it is not so evident. They keep deflecting and changing the subject and trying to convince us that we’re stubbornly missing the ‘important stuff’.
Damn guys, if you can’t even understand that for women, the basic idea of existing as a human being means that no one is entitled to snatch the snatch is the important stuff?
We’ve got a long way to go.
13 Comments Add yours
You nailed it! Where’s Ivanka in all this? I wonder if she’s cowering at home with her slimy husband and batting away her even more slimy brothers because, you know, if we can’t handle groping we should be kindergarten teachers.
Ivanka’s husband is a dark horse in all of this–prominent Jewish family, newspaper owner–it’s interesting that he is hardly on the scene stumping.
As a Jew, I’m embarrassed that Jared Kushner defends and advises the orange blob. His family has called him out on all of the BS. I can’t wait to read the books about this election cycle.
The anti-semitic rhetoric is starting to make an appearance as well. Self-loathing? Something in it for him? I mean, I don’t know what his motivation could possibly be.
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Wow, fantastic blog. Yes, and thank the sexual predator, Donald for showing and reminding us how far we haven’t come when it comes to women’s human rights!
Can’t wait to say: Madam President!!
I think all of this transcends parties as well–though I DO think that having a female nominee makes a big difference–as studies have shown that female leaders tend to focus on more women and family driven issues–whether Hillary Clinton is elected and does that remains to be seen, but I’ll put a few of my eggs into that basket..
But I think this is true of politics, of social issues, of art and literature and just about everything. The female is secondary. Our needs are secondary. Our voices, our stories, our (fill in the blank). I do think this election cycle in the US has really brought all of what’s been bubbling away to the surface–the trick will be to take any momentum we gain and run with it. But truly I believe that policies that help women and families aren’t ONLY for women. I think they benefit society. Maybe a Madame President will act as a bullhorn for our voices.
Thanks for the reblog!
Male privilege. Male privilege. Male privilege. Do we need to say it again? Absolutely. Because the very fact of male privilege silences our voice. It’s a vicious, evil circle of misogyny.
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And unfortunately, we as women are often complicit in our own oppression. I just found it–interesting isn’t the right word–head scratching maybe–that there seemed to be genuine surprise from some that this was a big deal and that there is a real push to keep it as part of the narrative. I don’t need to be mansplained by Ben Carson telling me the economic train is going off the track. I need the people who are voted into office to start looking beyond their own needs and wake up to the fact that taking care of the members of your society is only going to make your society stronger.
It truly is amazing to me that some have a hard time seeing the the right to live a life free of groping and catcalling and interrupting and mansplaining is important.
I think you’ve come up with the perfect motto: “No snatchin’ the snatch.” Seriously. Smart and catchy. You should send it in to Wonkette — or Rachel Maddow.
High praise, Elyse. I would…if I had any idea HOW to do that. Media savvy, I am not, but I like to think I can rock a metaphor.
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yeah. me either ;(