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Pulling it all together.

Peter Daou sums up the Kavanaugh nomination:

But there’s something else going on here that feels like uncovering a pile of maggots in DC. It’s been all too clear since Anita Hill that women were considered second class citizens. The question was, where did that come from considering that so many women were ready to move into positions of power. Why is it we have so little governmental support in terms of family leave, day care, reproductive rights, equal pay? Why is it that the concerns of more than half of the country are disregarded Congress after Congress?

I have been reading a lot of Op/Ed’s by contemporaries of Brett Kavanaugh where I’m starting to get a clearer picture of where the ugliness is coming from. Here are two pieces in the Washington Post that clarify the picture. The first is about Christine Blasey Ford and how she tried to remake her life in her own image by leaving her suburban DC area home and going to California.

Her husband explains:

“She didn’t always get along with her parents because of differing political views,” Russell said. “It was a very male-dominated environment. Everyone was interested in what’s going on with the men, and the women are sidelined, and she didn’t get the attention or respect she felt she deserved. That’s why she was in California, to get away from the D.C. scene.”

That seems to be a persistent theme throughout these accounts of what it was like to grow up in Ford and Kavanaugh’s social set. It’s very male dominated.

The second piece is by Greg Jaffe, another prep school alumnus in Kavanaugh’s cohort goes into more detail about how this male dominance expresses itself:

All of the teachers who signed my 50th-birthday card were men. The few women who signed it all worked as administrators. This fact was no doubt a product of Landon’s culture in the 1980s: In my memory, we tested and terrorized the female teachers with petty acts of harassment, such as collectively staring at an eighth-grade earth science teacher’s breasts or dropping our pencils in unison at a specific time in the middle of her class (a feat we did not repeat for any male instructors). After several days of this behavior, the young science teacher broke down in tears. The reason I can recall only the names of my male teachers from that period is because the women usually didn’t stay long. (Today, Landon says that about one-third of its upper-school teachers are women, a big and welcome increase from my time at the school.)

“We definitely were terrible to the female teachers,” said Patrick Breen, a lifelong friend who is now a history professor at Providence College in Rhode Island. He remembered the middle-school Spanish teacher who felt angry and harassed when someone from my class put a jock strap on her dog, which she brought to school.

A few of the male teachers contributed to this culture. One U.S. history teacher introduced us to women’s suffrage by calling on a student who was often unprepared for class and asking him to tell us all he knew about the movement. The student stuttered and stammered for a few seconds. “That’s enough,” the teacher declared with finality, in a way that made clear he was dispensing with the subject, not the student.

What was that song from South Pacific? “You’ve got to be carefully taught?”

I could never figure out what it was about Hillary Clinton that the DC establishment hated so much. We have all asked ourselves this question, haven’t we? It just never made any sense. From a corruption and ethics standpoint, it is rare that you will find anyone as clean as she is. That doesn’t mean she’s perfect. It just means that every aspect of her life has been poured over with a magnifying glass and nothing of any import has ever come up. All of her scandals turn out to have nothing very much of interest at the bottom of it.

And we all know that there are few women in the world who had better credentials for running the country.

But what is any of that when it comes to penetrating this exclusive country club set of male power? These people don’t even consider women’s suffrage as anything that ruffles their feathers. They are so entrenched with so many connections and networks to keep their interests at the forefront of our national discourse that they never have to worry about women. Child care policies? Fuck that shit. We’ll just make her life miserable until she’s humiliated and quits.

That’s what the last 30 years have felt like. The guys weren’t paying enough attention to the feminist movement. Then came the backlash where this nucleation of male power decided to prevent any changes that would subvert their dominate paradigm. And the papers of record are chock full of men and women from this same stratum of society with their private schools, ivy leagues and connections. When was the last time a talented writer with a state school degree from a poor family got a job at the Washington Post or New York Times or The New Yorker or The Atlantic? That’s how 25 years of constant attacks on women in power happen.

Maisie Hirono gave the frustration a voice this week when she told men to “shut up and step up”. Battling this entrenched testocracy is exhausting, we’ve been doing it for too long and, frankly, we deserve better than this.

The backlash to the backlash is here. No more Anita Hills. No more calling Sandra Fluke a slut. No more degradation of Hillary Clinton. No more stripping rights from women. It’s not going to work this time. I thought #metoo was in danger of winding down but this nomination has breathed new life into the movement.

It goes way beyond sexual harassment. It’s more like we just aren’t going to take this lying down anymore. How dare Trump, Sexual Harraser in Chief, and Mitch Connell work so hard to confirm someone like Brett Kavanaugh, who will have a lifetime appointment to viciously strike down any initiative we legislate to make the workplace and society fairer for women.

I dare Mitch McConnell to “plow ahead” with Kavanaugh’s confirmation. I want to see him do it. The fury is about to break on him and the Republicans like they have never seen. In 18th century France, those suburban, Country Club, well-connected men and their families would be dragged out of their comfortable mini mansions and quickly dispatched by angry mobs. They were taken out just for the sin of being, actual charges being mostly superfluous when you have a job to do.

Something like that is about to happen now, minus the decapitations. Or decapitations of a metaphorical sort.

We’ll start with throwing them out. Then we’ll ruin their lives like they’ve ruined so many womens’ lives.

The time has come.

In the meantime, Brett Kavanaugh, the guy who put together a list of questions for Clinton to find out every salacious detail of what he did with Monica Lewinsky in what was a *consensual* relationship that she was a fully adult party to, well, Brett finds it very uncomfortable that anyone would ask about his sex life.

Fancy that.

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