Month: January 2017

The Trolls, The Taliban & Ugly Betty

Oh the trolls, the trolls, how droll their scolds, though through their spite, I derive insight. Granted, that sucks as poetry or prose, and no, this isn’t really about the Taliban or Ugly Betty, but it is both an apt description of how I’ve decided to make use of the dozens of less than kind missives that have been directed at me in the last few days on Twitter, and those who aimed them at me, all because of the post I wrote about The Exclusionary Arrogance of Western Feminism. I kept a log of my favorites, with the intention being to have a weekly “Troll Tuesday” post that summarizes the best, along with what my riposte to them would have been given more than 144 characters and ample time. But as I re-read through them all, trends began to emerge which were indeed insightful, and which helped better crystallize what it was that so bothered me about this event.

What most quickly became clear is that my trolls fell into three categories: angry feminists, millennial cisgenders and Muslim men. But of these three groups, the only one with a unified message and any conviction were the Muslim men, most of whom wanted me to shut up and sit down, and all of whom agreed that I should not have the right to speak, whether sitting or standing. And good for them, too. Having worked in advertising for most of my career, this is one mantra we often preach – once you decide your mission statement, stay on brand and on message; consistency is key. Given that their particular brand of oppression has been around for centuries, it would be difficult to re-craft a message now, so – meh – why try. When it works, it works.

For their part, the millennial cisgenders were a handbook in poor grammar, airy diatribes, pointless platitudes and whining. I literally could not make head nor tails of most of the tweets from this group, each of them seeming to know the one who came before, their tweet an attempt to one up them with non sequitor babble of monumental vapidity. Things like, “also too as well therefore when we consider the impact of the merry-go-roundification of the total largesse of the progressive doublespeak.” Okay not really; theirs were all less comprehensible. Yet when I genuinely asked them what they were trying to say, they would respond with monosyllabic ad hominem attacks. The worst of the lot – some guy from DC whose Twitter handle is wanggop or some such – replied to my assertion that I had no idea what he was trying to communicate with, “I’m hardly surprised.” Nor am I; I do not speak mealy-mouth millennial.

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The Exclusionary Arrogance of Western Feminism

fem·i·nism

ˈfeməˌnizəm

noun

the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

If the above is the simple definition of feminism, the women marching across our country today — and indeed in major Western cities across the world — are not feminists in the true sense of the term. As many before me have asked without reply, what rights are there from which we as American women are restricted? Again perfectly manifesting the left’s inability to see irony in any of their deeds or words is the fact that they, as women, are being allowed to freely march in cities across our nation unrestrictedly, despite the fact that doing so greatly inconveniences many who simply wish to go about their day or earn a living unimpeded, and also alienates those of us who are secure enough in our ability to steer our own ships that we shun such efforts wholesale.

If this march was stirred because of fear of losing funding for programs such as planned parenthood — and I can think of no other single perceived women’s issue that was discussed during the campaigns — then these women are selfishly appropriating that as a singularly female issue, ignoring the fact that men, too, are offered services by PP, and only further highlighting the narcissistic vapidity of their effort. But why bother with an inconvenient truth when baseless hyperbole is so much more effective for their cause.

Also asked of those participating in and defending #womensmarch is why they do not apply similar zeal, resources and attention to the legally and culturally oppressed women in countries around the world who not only do not have the equivalent of something like planned parenthood, but who cannot even turn to authorities or even family members in the case of rape or assault because their societies are conditioned to immediately cast them as Jezebels who brought said offenses upon themselves. Freedom of speech for any sex is likewise illegal in many of these same countries, the combination thereof creating the most toxic environment possible for the most vulnerable amongst their populations. Yet my gender marches, shouts, cries and inspires celebrity outcries and support for an entirely imaginary lack of rights in our nation. Which brings me to this:

What exactly is it that Katy Perry, America Ferrera, Chrissie Teigen, Madonna, Julia Roberts and others who have more than ample resources do with their time when they are in other countries that has made them so willfully blind to true oppression of women? One not need go far to witness it, and quite contrarily, one would have to go somewhat out of their way to ignore it, even and perhaps especially in the finer hotels of that most frequent destination of left luvvies, London. I lived there for 8 years and go back almost every month; I saw a frightening example of it over the course of those 8 years and witnessed it again as recently in September of last year, and when I am reminded of it I am both frozen to the core and heartened by the fact that I am protected by the passport I carry, by grace of birth, which is a shield these women cannot employ.

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Sheep and Stereotypes

My last entry, which even the most humor-challenged amongst us could have surely understood was a tongue in cheek pontification of a single, liberal nation-state on the “Left Coast,” brought upon me an avalanche — or storm from snowflakes — that I had not quite anticipated. I had, of course, observed that the election had brought out the worst of behavior on both sides, but even in taking several steps back, it did seem quite clear that the left had behaved in a manner far less tolerant than the right, and when they did attack, did so with far greater vitriol. Indeed if we learned one new fact about liberals with any degree of certainty during what I think we all agree was silly season, it would be that they collectively possess zero sense of irony. The great tolerators would not tolerate; the love, peace, and potcicle brigade would protest, shout expletives and damage property to emphasize their moral superiority. Some of their most prominent mouthpieces are millionaire performers or media figures of one ilk or another who preach about higher taxes, non-engagement, the AAC, open borders and more, yet some of whom were revealed in the Panama Papers to have made use themselves of elaborate tax avoidance schemes offshore. They’ll fly their G6 to the grocery store, but lecture the rest of us on climate change. They want us to accept refugees but argue against applying even the most basic of common sense checks and balances to that system in order to secure our country because they are afraid of offending strangers, but expect the U.S. citizenry to continue to buy their music and movies. They do not even understand or make an effort to comprehend that a large part of the reason for the now historic refugee crisis is our non-engagement in Syria, whether in supporting regime change or in committing real force to combating ISIS.

But yesterday in receiving the first of my mean tweets — my new badge of honor – I realized that I’ve seen these people before. I see them almost daily in the research that I do for my work. These are the women who are anti-GMO, but want us to feed children in Africa, not understanding the correlation between the two. They give vaccines to their children and would accept life-saving cancer treatment if they needed it, but do not understand that the same biotech that creates those cutting edge drugs is the same that is used in GMO seeds. These are the people who venerate a movie star who produced a documentary called “Cowspiracy” about how agriculture is causing climate change, but who himself likely cannot remember they last time he flew on a commercial plane.

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Service in a Saucer

 

I wrote this originally in 2088 while still living abroad, and am doing so now for a number of reasons which range from serious to facetious.

First, I’ve always been more than just mildly annoyed at the difficulties I’ve had entering the UK over the years, despite having lived there for eight. I’ve lived in China and Russia, and never faced the same sort of scrutiny that I have there, strawberry blonde, green-eyed, American passport toting Southern girl that I am. To be sure, it is nowhere nearly as bad as it used to be, and hasn’t happened in a very long time – mostly because now when they ask why I’m there, I simply say “because I can,”  list my address as The Dorchester and stare – but it used to border on absurd. Once, when my son was still a very small toddler, I was stopped at customs at Gatwick and challenged on whether or not I had the right to bring my child abroad with me. It was about 2 a.m. in our home in the U.S., but the customs officials pulled me aside and insisted on calling my ex-husband, despite the fact that I had a notarized letter from my lawyer ex-husband stating that my son was in my sole custody,  as well as a copy of our custody agreement which clearly stated the same, in addition to my by then well worn UK work visa.

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Fundamentalist Barbie

Or “The Regime Has Changed, but The Crazy Remains The Same” Something else I wrote a number of years ago before Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – or MockMoodyMadJihad, as I called him – fell from power. Yet it seems relevant still today  – to me at least – because of the ongoing media obsession with PEOTUS Trump’s perceived […]

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