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Are you fucked in the head?

vastleft's picture

[Since zombie lies never die, I'm updating to include:

* A link to Lambert's debunking post
* A link to all posts in this series]

Please watch the video of Hillary's comment regarding Robert F. Kennedy's assassination.

Do you think she's intimating something ominous about Barack Obama?

If you answered "yes," you might want to consult with a medical professional, to see if you're fucked in the head.

Since the Democrats' frontrunner doesn't support universal healthcare and speaks disparagingly about "socialized medicine," you might want to save money by taking this handy home test.

It will show how fucked-in-the-head you are, measured by how much evidence contradictory to your fucked-up perception your fucked-up head chooses to ignore.

1. Read the transcript:

HRC: This is the most important job in the world. It’s the toughest job in the world. You should be willing to campaign for every vote. You should be willing to debate anytime, anywhere. I think it’s an interesting juxtaposition where we find ourselves and you know, I have been willing to do all of that during the entire process and people have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa and I find it--

Argus Leader Editorial Board: Why? Why?

HRC: I don’t know I don’t know I find it curious because it is unprecedented in history. I don’t understand it and between my opponent and his camp and some in the media, there has been this urgency to end this and you know historically that makes no sense, so I find it a bit of a mystery.

EB: You don’t buy the party unity argument?

HRC: I don’t, because again, I’ve been around long enough. You know my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere around the middle of June

EB: June

HRC: We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. Um you know I just I don’t understand it. There’s lots of speculation about why it is.

2. Read the postmortem at Politico, the conservative e-mag that fed the early stages of the frenzy, after reporter Jonathan Martin caught wind that Hillary had said something about it still being May and RFK being shot in June:

I urged Martin to keep his foot on the gas: Be the first to post reaction from the Obama campaign. Obama spokesman Bill Burton quickly obliged, denouncing Clinton’s comments and saying such sentiments have “no place in this campaign.” Burton’s comments quickly went into Martin’s blog post. Soon enough, several websites and cable news outlets were giving the story trumpet-blaring treatment.

Perhaps half an hour after the story broke Martin called me back over to his desk. It turned out the Argus Leader had video of its big interview. I huddled over Martin’s computer as we watched.

It was a deflating experience.

The RFK remarks were deep in a 20-minute clip of an otherwise routine conversation. Then, once we actually got to the relevant portion of the video, it was hardly an electric moment.

Clinton does indeed mention the Kennedy assassination, speaking in a calm and analytical tone: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.”

Martin and I both thought we saw a slight twinge in Clinton’s facial expression, as though she recognized she had just said something dumb.

Whether she recognized it or not, she had.

But it was also clear that Clinton’s error was not in saying something beyond the pale but in saying something that pulled from context would sound as if it were beyond the pale.

It would be a big story if Clinton said something like this: “Hey, I know it looks bad for me now. But, think about it. Obama could get shot and I’d get to be the nominee after all.”

It is a small story if Clinton said something like this: “Everyone talks like May is incredibly late, but by historical standards it is not. Think of all the famous milestones in presidential races that have taken place during June.”

It seems pretty obvious that the latter is what Clinton meant, and not too far from what she actually said.

3. Read the interpretation of Randall Beck, executive editor of Argus Leader Media, the news organization that conducted the interview:

The context of the question and answer with Senator Clinton was whether her continued candidacy jeopardized party unity this close to the Democratic convention. Her reference to Mr. Kennedy’s assassination appeared to focus on the timeline of his primary candidacy and not the assassination itself.

4. Ask yourself why a roomful of journalists didn't immediately question Sen. Clinton about why she was speculating on, or possibly even inciting, the assassination of her rival (full transcript here, in .doc file format).

Instead of digging into the story-of-the-century that just fell into their laps, they concluded the interview as follows (picking up immediately after the "money quote" in #1, above):

EB: What's your speculation?

CLINTON: You know, I don't know, I find it curious and I don't want to attribute motives or strategies to people because I don't really know, but it's a historical curiosity to me.

EB: Does it have anything to do with gender?

CLINTON: I don't know that either.

5. Read the reaction of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., after being told about Hillary's remarks:

“I’ve heard her make that argument before,” Mr. Kennedy said, speaking on his cell phone as he drove to the family compound in Hyannis for the holiday weekend. “It sounds like she was invoking a familiar historical circumstance in support of her argument for continuing her campaign.”

6. Read Hillary making that argument before, quoted in Time magazine in March, when such comments somehow didn't cause a state of emergency:

"Primary contests used to last a lot longer," she toldTime magazine in March.

"We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in LA. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual."

7. In light of all this evidence, re-read any of the 4-zillion accusatory articles, blog posts, forum screeds, or e-mails about this that you've written or read over the last three days. Do you still stand by your outrage at "Hillary Hinckley"?

8. Listen to yourself continuing to spread these Clinton Derangement Syndrome-fueled lies, and carping about what a "victim" Hillary is for defending herself against this high-tech lynching.

9. Imagine you heard that Hillary Clinton uttered the last word of the previous sentence. Would you look honestly into the context before vilifying her and the half of your party that supports her, given the way you've embarrassed yourself this weekend... just like when you flipped out over "as far as I know" and "fairy tale"?

If the answer is "no," you are completely fucked in the head.

Good luck to you, and to the rest of us who have to put up with you and — judging by the national wave of garment-rending and pearl-clutching since Friday — the frightening number of people like you.

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bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Been around a while, and seems to persist. Almost makes you yearn for the good old days, when natural selection pressures were slightly greater. Not too far back in time; just, say, when dueling was still in vogue.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Tensions are still raw about that Burr-Hamilton thing, so I think you should know better than to say the "d" word.

Submitted by lambert on

... in my earlier postings on this topic, bringiton

The headline is most elegantly phrased!

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

we weren't all quite so civilized? I would so love to see Bill call out one of these putzs and just deck 'em for insulting his wife. His approval numbers would hit 99.9% and stick there for ever.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Because every woman, including the one most qualified to be president, really just needs a man defending her. ;) IMO, Clinton is doing just fine defending herself. I'd rather see her clock someone.

My fiance knows better than to my battles, if he does, he knows he next on my list.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I knew I should have upgraded to DSM-IV.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Soon enough us old-timers will pass on and you can have all that new-fangled uber-ee-quality without further interference.

I'm old-fashioned that way. I hold doors. I carry bags. I say "Yes, M'am" and "No, M'am" and give up my seat on the bus, and I'm not letting any of that go. I define myself as a gentleman largely by how I treat others, and a lady should always be treated as a lady. That means, in my book, that if someone flat-out insults a lady in my presence I have a gentleman's responsibility to stand up and call them out for it. Otherwise, the riff-raff will overrun everything; as you may have noticed.

I am trying to be more modern, but when I see someone mistreat a lady and don't intervene it gets under my skin and eats at me until I can't stand it any more. In fact, it happened here the other day and I stayed out of it; I've had a burr under my saddle ever since. Now that we're talking about it, I do believe I'll wander back to that thread and settle his hash.

I know I'll feel better.

jeqal's picture
Submitted by jeqal on

Hillary recently said that she was proud of her daughter. Obama was deeply offended by that, retraction to follow.

Am I the only one sick of this asshole?

"The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules," --Bill Clinton

rjpjr's picture
Submitted by rjpjr on

Yet we never hear anything about that from our friends in the press. You can even make it a feature on your facebook:
http://www.slate.com/id/2191981/

Keith Olbermann who suggested that Hillary be taken into a room by someone and only he come out is allowed to throw a tantrum about her comments on national TV.

I am glad to know that Hillary making a comment about a historical event is absolutely unacceptable and a cause for days of media outrage and coverage, but someone actually saying something along those lines about Hillary should be dismissed, and then that person is allowed to smear Hillary.

I am starting to think fucked in the brain does not even come close to describing it.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Suppose the jerk doesn't back down. What then? Let it go? Not much sense in raising the issue in the first place, is there? Having raised it, nothing to do but press ahead. If it comes to blows, better I take one for the team. I'm sturdier than 99.99% of women, my head is demonstrably harder than a windshield and unfazed by impacting on boulders, and my looks have no downside potential.

If she gets into a fight, I end up having to pay for the repairs. So just think of it as practical.

What your issue might be with the term “lady” I can’t imagine. You might consider examining why you have such a strong negative reaction to a term of respect. We’d all be better off if more people behaved as ladies and gentlemen, and less like thugs.

As to my “not harmful” behaviors, are they “just” manners or are they patronizing? Can’t be both, so finish that conversation with your self and let me know what you decide. Not that I’ll pay it any mind, but I would like to know which particular condescension I’m ignoring.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

The jerk doesn't back down, of course step in. The point I'm making is that if you step in before the woman can act as an agent for herself, you are taking that away from her. Let the woman decide if the jerkful act is something worth a response or not. If she can shrug it off,why can't you?

And lady used to be a term of respect. More and more these days(and I'm not talking about you, BIO) it is used by denigrating men, to belittle and infantalize women. That's why I hate the word. When a sexist douche like Olberman says "ladies" I cringe.

Patronizing, like offering to carry a box I'm perfectly capable of carrying myself, especially since carrying said box is part of what I'm paid for. I consider it "not harmful", because I politely turn them down, and it doesn't really affect me in my daily life. Other women in my office are more than happy to accept, they have finally learned I won't. Opening doors is manners, but you should do it for everybody, not just women. I give up my seat on the bus(when I rode) too, especially to people who are less able than I, it's just manners.

If you'd been there 6 years ago, as I struggled to carry a baby carrier, diaper bag, and grocery bags up a couple flights of steps, you'd have been a Godsend. I can only hope you would have shown the same courtesy to my fiance, who was frequently doing the same.

And I would say we all need to act civilized, instead of genderizing it by saying "ladies and gentlemen" because historically and societaly(ooh look, big words!), the societal expectations for ladies is different than gentlemen.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

myiq2xu's picture
Submitted by myiq2xu on

That the most "outraged" people are generally too young to remember RFK.

Some, like John Cole, weren't even alive in 1968.

RFK jr. fucked them up by defending Hillary, so they were left trying to explain how she "offended" the American people somehow.

The idea that she was referring to Obama is irrational, as is the idea that referring to assassination raised the specter of Obama being harmed.

They were furious without a cause.
------------------------------------------------
“Rules are not necessarily sacred,
principles are.”
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Submitted by lambert on

Check out the comments on Digg. Ick. And I should give in to this why?

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

What your issue might be with the term “lady” I can’t imagine. You might consider examining why you have such a strong negative reaction to a term of respect.

There are a couple of problems, actually; one, by defining some women as "ladies," it means that there are others who are not-ladies, i.e., not worthy of respect. The courtly love tradition sounds great, until you consider that while ladies were treated with respect, other women, i.e., servants or peasants, were treated like property and raped, impregnated, abandoned, beaten, killed, etc., with no recourse. Because they weren't ladies, so they didn't matter.

The other problem with the "lady" thing is that "act like a lady" is a method of social control. How many times, for instance, has Clinton been criticized for being unfeminine (i.e., not acting like a lady)?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Well, I'm not posting or....

Anyway, I'm just marveling at how a post that got banned on DU turned into a debate about chivalry here!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Why has this thread gone differently than elsewhere? Assume it's because we here at Corrente are not FITH sufferers; well, not most of us.

Sorry, VL, about hijacking the thread, but it had to be done. Plus, you aren’t actually here, so the whole post and subsequent thread may only be hallucinations. Therefore no real harm, therefore no real foul.

This gentleman/lady foolishness is a particular sore point with me, part of a larger glaring issue around abandonment of progressive and liberal principles, so brace yourself; I’m about to vent.

What in the hell is the matter with you people?

You let some “sexist douche” define the language for you? No damn wonder the progressive movement is in shambles. Fuck ‘em. Seize the words, use them as they are meant to be used, insist on that usage and insist on a proper meaning, ignore or damn anyone who uses them improperly. Take control of the language, so you can control your message.

Let other people define the words, limit which ones you use, and you lose your voice. I refuse to do that. This is my language, I’ve spent my whole life learning how to use it, and I’ll bloody well speak it plainly and proudly and defiantly as I please. Ask yourselves why you’re so eager to knuckle under to the forces of oppression; your issue, not mine.

Do some people try to use language to insult? Yep, happens all the time. To defeat manipulation and control, first resist; then counter-attack. Never, ever back down. The response to people calling for Clinton to “act like a lady” and submit to their demands is to first point out that she is a lady who doesn’t need any instruction from them; then point out that those making the demands are not gentlemen but curs, base animals that need to be beaten and driven from the public square. Then beat on them. Loud and long until they apologize. Never, ever let them use the word lady as an insult. Never, ever, let them own the language.

Aeryl, who said anything about seizing your work out of your hands? How rude; I would never. A gentleman respects a lady, and recognizes without question that she is fully capable of achieving whatever she sets herself to accomplish. We should all be proud of our work, and of our ability to accomplish it. No gentleman would take that away. Struggling up the stairs with an overload on the other hand is quite what I’m proposing is appropriate, and yes I’d do the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation. Hell, species even; I’ve done the same for horses and mules. It is just what a gentleman does.

The difference between you and your fiancé is, assuming he’s of sound body, the distribution; what is carried by whom. Unless you are some kind of Amazon Warrior Princess, I’m bigger, stronger and sturdier, have longer arms, am less likely to break and have a higher pain threshold. I’ll take the heavier, bulkier, most awkward items. Consider it a practical matter. With your fiancé, however, that would be an insult; I’d reach for the lighter objects and leave him to the heaviest. Don’t worry about why that is; it’s a man thing, you wouldn’t understand.

As to genderification of expectations, perhaps it has escaped your notice but we are, men and women, in point of fact different. Personally I revel in the differences, and do not seek to suppress that which so demonstrably is; those who prefer to follow the principles of King Canute are welcome to their toils, but nothing good will come of it. The responsibilities of ladies and gentlemen are indeed slightly different, in superficial ways. At the core, they are not; both carry the expectation of at least a pretense at propriety and a respect for others. Who holds a door or goes first down a darkened ally or takes the street side of sidewalk are differences of simple practicality, and a matter of honor to perform; it is an act of subservience by the gentleman, who puts the best interests of the lady before his own. The lady is thus elevated, not diminished; the great failing of radical militant feminism is in the insistence that a compliment is an insult – how completely backwards and foolish is that? When philosophies begin to try and turn reality on its head, you know that they have exceeded the bounds of usefulness.

Finally, zuzu, it pains me to read that you think so little of me. I always treat every woman as a lady. From the age when children can form sentences, they should be treated as ladies and gentlemen; how else shall we save civilization? All women are presumed to be ladies, at all times and in all situations; any man who does not do so is no gentleman. Of course, with women as with men, some people insist on behaving in ways that are not gentlemanly or ladylike. They should be upbraided, corrected, and proper behavior should be insisted on. In my experience, a demand for ladylike or gentlemanly behavior is almost always all it takes to get it; far more effective than concepts like “fair” or the “law.”

We have lost much in the coarsening of society. We would all be better served if we required our selves and others to behave like ladies and gentlemen. More decorum, please.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

I think the age difference is a part of the problems we have in our communication and discourse. But, first.

and have a higher pain threshold.

Hah!!

Back to the age difference. The vernacular. I am quite younger than you, BIO, not even 30, so the term lady is just not a part for my vernacular, unlike you. Today, the term woman suffices in my mind. I refer to the entire female gender as, women, whereas you term them lady. You also impute behavior requirements on the term that encompasses an entire gender, but I do not. You use gendered terms to label what you term appropriate behavior, and I use the term human beings to label that. I believe that are expected of us, as humans, as people, instead of as ladies and as gentlemen. You attempt as best you can to provide for the needs of other people, whether through simple courtesy or other assistance. What another's need may be, is determined by your judgement. And since judgement always comes from with ourselves, we must accept that has humans, we are fallible, and that said judgement could be wrong.

So since I come from a different "age", I feel that one of my "needs" is to not be termed a lady. I don't feel that your definition of lady is a bad, I find no quibble with it. But your definition is surely a minority among men, for if a majority of men actually agreed with you, and lived up to those ideals, we wouldn't have been existing in a cycle of systemic oppression of women since the rise of monotheism, because assholes who don't agree with you wouldn't have been able to pull it off.

Most men's definition of lady is far different from yours, and consists mainly of gendered social constructions, that keep women from being full moral agents or realizing their potential. Even the people who created that vernacular, held a different meaning to it than you do.

So, because of that, I feel woman is a suitable term, and leaving the label for indecorous behavior so widely open, allows for more colorful language for people, like many of the solid golds created by Mike Judge, like fartknocker.

OTOH, there are women who appreciate the term lady, and by all means, use it for them. Part of being human, or as you like to call it "ladies and gentlemen" is to respond to an individual needs as best you can. Many women don't like to be called bitch. I on the other hand, wholly own the word, for I figured out as a teenager that a bitch is a woman who refuses to give a person(usually a man, though) exactly what they want when they want it, for reasons they don't agree with. I hold no exception to being called that, unlike the term lady. You could call be a bitch, for whatever reason you choose, and I would respond with a :D

And yes, sorry for the threadjack VL, but I personally feel that things like this are what the internet was created for.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by lambert on

Seems to me this is a useful piece of the sexism misogyny critique.

(Oh, I get to be a "moral agent" if I have a penis? What if I'm a debt slave? Et cetera. To the corporations, we are all flesh. Period. Human resources to be consumed.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

Um,

Finally, zuzu, it pains me to read that you think so little of me.

Dude, chill. Don't personalize. It's not necessarily about you.

I was pointing out that there *are* problems with "lady," in that words mean things, and that ladylike standards of behavior are used as a straitjacket to keep women second-guessing themselves and other women, and keeping them down.

You shrug it off, but you're a guy. Those of us without penises have been drilled since the cradle that ladies don't do this or ladies don't do that, and if you don't think that has anything to do with the vile way that Clinton's been treated in this primary, even by feminists, who should fucking know better, then you're fooling yourself.

Submitted by cg.eye on

"gentleman" we see nowadays is associated with pornful pursuits?

Or is a "gentlemen's club" a place where guys get together, read papers and hear news of the day?

I know, I know, equal rights legislation banned most clubs like that, but there's an assumption in the word that men control what the term "gentleman" can mean, while women have the word "ladies" thrust upon them, like calling a black person "colored", because it would be nice if they were obedient like coloreds were back then.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I notice no engagement on that issue, other than a rush to surrender. Major mistake, IMNSHO, regardless of age.

There's a reason we start a public speech with the phrase "Ladies and Gentlemen"; is it both a salutation, a gesture of respect, and a plea for decorous behavior from the audience. It is an appeal to hold to the terms of the social contract that lets us preserve a thin veneer of civilization; it is what separates us from open savagery. To do that in our everyday lives is not a negative, or a co-opting of rights, or a diminishment of anyone. Quite the opposite; it is a demand that everyone's behavior be elevated, that we collectively through our shared expectations will be enobled. Sorry if you don't see the value in that.

The words woman and man are just fine, but they do not carry the imperative for civilized behavior that come with lady and gentleman. They never will. You say this is a matter of age; I say that if younger people have abandoned the power of those words to maintain civilized public interaction, then shame on you. Take them back, or suffer the consequence.

"Dude, chill" Really? Thank you, but no. I can manage my own emotions all on my own, thanks ever so anyway. When you quote me and then respond directly, yes, I take it as a direct engagement with me, an actual person. If that discomfits you, figure out how to deal with it.

One of the wonderful attributes of actually being a gentleman or a lady rather than allowing others to define what it means is that we don't have to kowtow to anyone. Ladies and gentlemen are quite certain that they are the equal of anyone else, precisely because they are a lady or a gentleman. Others are not allowed to define us; we use the basic principles of decency and respect to define our own behavior.

I'm very sorry if others have, in your experience, used the concept of "lady" to mean "slave". That's exactly the sort of thing that as an actual lady you should speak out against, and demand that the term be used correctly. A lady is not a slave, and is not subservient to anyone, because a lady is due the full respect of other ladies and all gentlemen; in fact, of all men, gentlemen or otherwise. Abandoning that power because someone somewhere misused the word strikes me as astoundingly foolish, but hamstring yourself as you wish. I refuse to do so.

Then there's this, zuzu: "You shrug it off...." Is that not intended personally? Hard to see how it might be a generality. In my defense, I have shrugged off nothing here. I've responded directly and openly and honestly and respectfully. Just because I hold to my own POV, my own ethos, my own well-considered construct of what constitutes appropriate public behavior between adults, is not a shrugging off of your POV. It is rather that I value myself as much as I value you - exactly as much, no more but certainly no less. Again, painful for me to be characterized as so callous. But perhaps that was an editorial "you" and I am simply in need of another "chill."

As to being in the minority, sadly so. Sometimes I do feel lonely. Won't you please join me in reclaiming the majority for civilized behavior? Won't you please join me in condemning all hijacking of the language, all perversion of principles, and take the moral high ground for ourselves? Imagine, if you will, what life would be like if we all behaved with the decorum of ladies and gentlemen. How much more pleasant life would be.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

The media in the face today. Metaphorically via katiebird.

Some very angry language over the media treatment, not reporting polls that show her ahead. And how "they"(kinda goes with the "they" who won't let her win) are all covering it up. Making her "cry uncle" before they seat FL & MI. That's the pressure for her to drop out, before they were seated. Also, he was quoted as saying she has a better chance at winning in Nov.

I'd say he came out swinging.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Or are you going to wait for forever for Somebody else to do it for you?

The use of "gentleman's club" is in the current vernacular ironic. Only the deliberately obtuse and those with a sense of ironic humor still use the terms as somehow D/s. Those days are so long gone; why are you still clinging to them?

zuzu's picture
Submitted by zuzu on

“Dude, chill” Really? Thank you, but no. I can manage my own emotions all on my own, thanks ever so anyway. When you quote me and then respond directly, yes, I take it as a direct engagement with me, an actual person. If that discomfits you, figure out how to deal with it.

Self-centered much?

I know when I'm not wanted. Ta.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

but they do not carry the imperative for civilized behavior that come with lady and gentleman.

That's the problem. Even allies can disagree with what the words really mean. Most people don't agree with you that's what those words mean. They are in the majority, so honestly when it comes to the consequences those words have, what you would like them to mean, doesn't mean shit.

And the you shrug it off comment was probably intended to remind you that you are speaking from privilege. It's easy for you to say, "Well women just need to reclaim it", when your not the woman trying to do the reclaiming, mmK?

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Ignorance wins? Callousness triumphs? Not having it. Subserving to the lowest common denominator is just not in the cards for me. I'm content in knowing that these constructs, universally applied, make for a better world, and am willing to soldier on in trying to spread them. Invoking "lady" and "gentleman" has been, in my experience, the single most effective means of putting a stop to unruly behavior I've ever employed; short of pulling out a pistol, and I’ve been told we just don't do that anymore.

I've had this conversation thousands of times, all over the world. Surprisingly to me, agreement comes - sometimes after considerable reflection, to be sure - from very nearly every man and almost every woman – that we would do well to act in the manner of, and treat each other as, ladies and gentlemen. Not to demean anyone – for heaven’s sakes, why would anyone want to do that? – but to elevate our selves. The only consistent source of objection I get is from younger women who have seized on the idea that women are somehow demeaned by being expected to exercise public decorum, as well as by having men treat them cordially and with a modicum of deference on matters of their personal safety and comfort. Beats the hell out of me.

That this concept, that of being a lady, being a gentleman, behaving towards others as ladies and gentlemen, is not universal and not apparently even in the majority is a sad truth. But to argue that a minority opinion is not worth shit precisely because it is a minority opinion, however correct it may be, does not fit within my approach to either transformational politics or the bounds within which I choose to live my life. I reject that assertion.

The oppressors will always try to control the language. Abandon the language field, on any topic, and you lose the message battle. Lose enough battles, and you lose the communications war. Dear lady, I will fight for the use of every word, every day, to my dying breath; a gentleman can do no less.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Who does he think he is? He should just put a cork in it and let her defend herself. Shameful, that kind of behavior.

Seriously, I had been thinking more along the lines of moving David Shuster's nose an inch to the left after the "pimp Chelsea" crack. I would have.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

That this concept, that of being a lady, being a gentleman, behaving towards others as ladies and gentlemen, is not universal and not apparently even in the majority is a sad truth.

I just use different words for it. Even before I was learned about the deeper complications of the word, I didn't use it. It was formal language, public speaking, things I don't do. I was never told to sit up and act like a "lady" from my mother. I had no father to inflict his own brand of patriarchy.

The only consistent source of objection I get is from younger women who have seized on the idea that women are somehow demeaned by being expected to exercise public decorum,

This I agree with.

as well as by having men treat them cordially and with a modicum of deference on matters of their personal safety and comfort.

This I don't. You are placing different expectations of decorum, based upon gender and it is wrong. Period. Being pagan myself, I view it as unbalanced, which is bad for those of us who strive to find balance But overall it's wrong, just because of natural human fallibility, that men, feeling that they are owed something by women,* whom they treat with such consideration, protecting them from the evils of this world, tends to lead men to subjugate women. Especially when you have a diety informing you that your ability to achieve afterlife, depends on keeping these women in line. And it leads to....

This cycle is repeated over and over again throughout history. All because some stubborn men have to keep their gendered expectations and societal constructs.

*Have you no idea how many times I have been informed by some stupid man, who believes women should act like "ladies", I should be content having less rights from my country, since I'm not eligible to be called in the draft.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The patriarchy - if we may stick with that term - existed first. Why? We could go on and on, but The Selfish Gene is as good an argument as any.

Following on came rationalizations, gender stereotyping, language dominance conventions, legal subjugations, etc etc etc. All of them are contrivances, tools of oppression. Agreed so far?

Language is not in itself the oppression, it is only a tool. The question then becomes, what is a good revolutionary to do about it? Modern times, women have the vote (done precious little with it, but we'll let that pass for now) and at least a nodding acceptance of the notion of equality, but hardly anything approaching real equality with income, employment opportunity or many other things of substance. IMNSHO the greatest remaining tool of oppression is language, and we have seen that during this election cycle in spades. (In spades. Can I still say that?)

A woman getting so close to the last remaining true bastion of American patriarchy has put otherwise mild-mannered menfolk into a tizzy. Terrible behavior. To my mind, all the more reason why women, all women, need to seize the language. "Lady" is one of the words that women need to claim. You may not see that need, but I say it is there. As my perspective is from within the sexist power structure, you might want to consider the remote possibility that I have a POV worth a moment’s rumination – just on the off-chance that I’m not wholly evil.

*I have no idea about your personal history, not my month at the NSA. Any man who used the concept of "lady" as a means of suppression of your human rights was not a gentleman. Sorry about that, but not my fault nor that of any true gentleman. Had I been there, we'd have sorted that out straight away.

Oh, wait, that wouldn't have been right for me to do.

Never mind.

"men, feeling that they are owed something" A gentleman behaves as he does for the sake of his own honor, and not to place an obligation upon others. No one should feel, or have placed upon them, an obligation in return for small courtesies. That would be manipulative exploitation, and is decidedly not a gentlemanly behavior.

If I open a door, carry a parcel, tip my hat, or walk on the curb side to place myself between you and passing cars, splashes from tires coursing through puddles or the contents of chamber pots flung from an upstairs window, it is without any expectation whatsoever of compensation or deference. The satisfaction in knowing I have done the right thing is all that I require.

It is what gentlemen do. It is how we define ourselves. It is not about diminishing you. It is about uplifting ourselves, above our baser, self-serving nature. My self-improvement does not connote or depend upon a disparagement of you.

I refuse to accept that my construct is either bounded by the debased notions of others, or is in any way reduced by your unfortunate experiences at the hands of bounders. My advice, take it as you will, is that you seize the language if you wish to seize power.

I say that not, as you suggest was perhaps inferred by someone who is no longer here, from a position of privilege but rather as a hardened and experienced political activist. If you do not control the language, you cannot gain power; if you do not seize power for your selves, no one will hand it to you. The downtrodden have never achieved any political gains from the largess of those already ensconced; if women want equality, they will have to take it from those whose power rests upon maintaining inequality. This is sound, constructive advice, not condescension.

Been loverly, but I need to go now and work on an argument for Hillary’s electability. See how many other people here I can alienate this week. Until another time, I remain yours - in a gentlemanly way.

Submitted by lambert on

Bringiton says:

A gentleman behaves as he does for the sake of his own honor.

Or, rather, why I post, at least when I'm being my best self. Believe it who will. Old-fashioned, I know. Probably deeply patriarchal. But there you are.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Feel these same requirements, for our own honor, only those desires have been subsumed out of us by the patriarchy. The idea that women and men should do different things for their honor is sexist. Which is why I don't agree with the language.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by lambert on

... different things? Not me. Seek the truth and call bullshit when needed. That's one form of honorable behavior. And all genders and sexes can play.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

He's saying men are required to do things, like put their physical selves out there for the protection of women, to serve their honor as gentlemen. I'm calling bullshit.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Card-carrying_Buddhist's picture
Submitted by Card-carrying_B... on

What is wrong with these people?

Tell me, please what is wrong with these people?

Why are they so stupid?

If they are so stupid and they call themselves progressive Dems, does that therefore necessarily mean that stupidity is not, as I had always thought, party-dependent?

I cannot live with this shame!