Archive for December, 2017

Blazing Saddles in Alabama

Bart, the black sheriff in the bigoted town shows up to ask, “Hey, where are the white women at?” He spoke of the fictional Rock Ridge but that’s the question for elections, nationwide, including Alabama.

In nearly all times and locals, women make up the majority of voters (more of them and they vote at a higher rate than men). They determine the results.

For yesterday’s voting, many speculated whether Alabama women could vote for a credibly accused predator of young and underage girls Roy Moore. The answer seems to be, unfortunately, that many of the white women could and did. (Chart from WaPo article. Fair use claimed here.)

Granted, they voted at much higher rates for credibly accused predator of women  and girls Donald Trump. Yet it remains surprising and alarming that any women could vote for Moore, regardless of their point on the political spectrum.

There’s much bluster and portent among lefties about how this bodes well for ’18 and ’20 elections. A deeply red state chose its first Dem Senator in 27 years. Let’s reserve judgment. Let’s first consider that Moore is a morally bankrupt, totally dishonest and dishonorable pol who has been unable to obey the federal and state constitution and perform his duties in any position. How likely is it that red states will arrogantly run such terrible candidates for Dems to beat?

We’d like to think white women in the main would join progressives in this MeToo time. They have the power and could easily use it for good of the nation, their states and women in particular.

 

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Pile on the Shame

[Quick note of apology. I haven’t been commenting. The rest of the world has. So there.]

Al Franken…MeToo…sex monsters (almost entirely men in power). Just maybe a major flip has occurred. We’ll agree on that when self-identified conservatives/Republicans and then Europeans get with the program.

Meanwhile, I’ll note that I was one of the many who feared bandwagon joiners would muddle the vast good with false accusations. Instead, I find the bad so far comes in the form of schadenfreude. For some abused or harassed women, Dems and lefties taking the blame for their crassness and crimes, and then the GOP supporting the likes of the despicable Donald Trump and Roy Moore types is not enough. They want to inflict maximum damage and disgrace.

How much is too much?

I found myself in dolor about of my recurring raps about convicted criminals. I’ve long held and written about serving your time and clearing the blackboard. Those who want to perpetually punish convicts by not letting the vote and keeping them from getting jobs are just awful people who seem to lack an understanding of humanitarian and religious values.

Regardless, this came to mind again when one of Sen. Al Franken’s maybe victims, Stephanie Kemplin, made the talk-show circuit saying his apology and pending loss of Senate seat (and likely permanently ruined career, political and otherwise) were nowhere near enough to satisfy her.

She holds convincingly that she remembers his cupping one of her breasts (through multiple layers) at a photo-op. She is particularly irritated that he claims not to recall that and thus has not abjectly apologized.

In the unlikely case that Franken is not guilty of this exact charge. we cam pretty much be sure he has been a real ass around women and mildly sexually transgressed repeatedly. So we can then turn to ask whether is loss of face, loss of positions, and much dimmed future is adequate punishment. At least one accuser holds that it is not.

Walks of shame

I am bad on TV and watch little. However, I did not pass on any Game of Thrones episodes. The current news and opinion brings me back to Queen Cersei Lannister’s parade of shame, during which she walked naked through the capital as citizens chanted, “Shame!” and “Guilty!” while pelting her with spit, feces and garbage.

Clearly in her case and time and place, too much was not enough.

That I dread for the MeToo movement. We have plenty to atone for as a society and male gender. Not knowing when to modulate or stop won’t advance the movement.

I thought back to decades ago and one of the sermons I preached at the Arlington Street Church. It was on resilience. I spoke of the different reactions we have to the sundry misfortunes that are thrust or fall upon us. How in my volunteering at veterans hospitals in high school I’d met WWI vets still shell shocked (now PTST) and others missing limbs still incapacitated from wars long years later. Other vets made it their duties and hallmarks to forge on to careers, marriages, parenting and more in the same circumstances.

After the sermon, a couple of women and one man who never really recovered from sex crimes said how much they were insulted and how they felt disrespected. Many others told similar tales of their own survivals that those of relatives and friends. One elderly woman I had been in a UU sexuality course with pulled me aside with the definitive comment. I knew she had been raped and had to heal from the traumas; she said it was important to discuss how we deal with such; she said it was important to tell the personal story, but “don’t make a career out of it.”

Amen.

 

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