Monday Reads: Me Too

Yesterday and today, all of my social media began to light up with two simple words placed into hashtag format. #MeToo. 

Two simple words became a rallying cry on Twitter to stand against sexual harassment and assault.

“Me too.”

Social media was flooded with messages Sunday, mostly from women, who tagged their profiles to indicate that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted.

On Sunday actress Alyssa Milano tweeted a note that read “Suggested by a friend: If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”

“If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet,” she wrote.

The movement started in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal and its ensuing fall out.

One woman on twitter started the momentum as woman after woman admitted to having been assault and harassed during her lifetime.  That woman was actress Allysa Milano.

Twitter and Facebook have ignited with personal stories of abuse.

It started on Sunday with American actress Alyssa Milano calling on Twitter users to write “Me too” if they have ever been sexually assaulted or harassed to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

I’ve felt this entire year has been the year of the Sexual Predator exposed.  We have an admitted one President who openly bragged about sexually assault caught on a hot mic.  We saw a Cable News Network exposed as a Ring of Predators with management and talent having paid hush money for years to stop allegations. I relived the horror of it all during a Presidential Debate watching disturbing acts of stalking, bullying and intimidation play out on the debate stage. Hilary Clinton was subjected to horrific abuse through out the campaign by Kremlin Caligula and his awful supporters.

Sexual harassment impacts to your health. 

Dr. Colleen Cullen, a licensed clinical psychologist, notes that for victims of sexual harassment, the most common diagnoses are depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“An experience [with sexual harassment] can either trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety that are new to the person; or it can exacerbate a previous condition that may have been controlled or resolved. Patients may also see a worsening of symptoms,” says Dr. Cullen. “Some research has found that sexual harassment early in one’s career in particular can [cause] long-term depressive symptoms.”

Someone going through or dealing with the aftermath of sexual harassment may also exhibit symptoms of PTSD, especially if the harassment leads to violence and/or assault

“Among women who experience a sexual assault, 90 percent who experience sexual violence in the immediate aftermath exhibit symptoms of acute stress,” says Dr. Helen Wilson, a licensed clinical psychologist with expertise on the effects of trauma. “For many people, these symptoms dissipate over time through social support and coping strategies, and many people totally recover and move on; others will be so distressed that it really interferes with their work and life. It takes a certain number of symptoms to diagnose, but that’s when it can become PTSD.”

There is nothing usual about this administration. Even if we manage to get rid of the man making Iranian leaders appear rational, we get the bizarre Mike Pence in his stead. This is the man who refuses to be in a room with women if his wife–who he calls ‘mother’–is not there.

Trump and Pence are misaligned politically, too. Trump campaigned as an unorthodox outsider, but Pence is a doctrinaire ideologue. Kellyanne Conway, the White House counsellor, who became a pollster for Pence in 2009, describes him as “a full-spectrum conservative” on social, moral, economic, and defense issues. Pence leans so far to the right that he has occasionally echoed A.C.L.U. arguments against government overreach; he has, for instance, supported a federal shield law that would protect journalists from having to identify whistle-blowers. According to Bannon, Pence is “the outreach guy, the connective tissue” between the Trump Administration and the most conservative wing of the Republican establishment. “Trump’s got the populist nationalists,” Bannon said. “But Pence is the base. Without Pence, you don’t win.”

Pence has taken care to appear extraordinarily loyal to Trump, so much so that Joel K. Goldstein, a historian and an expert on Vice-Presidents who teaches law at St. Louis University, refers to him as the “Sycophant-in-Chief.” But Pence has the political experience, the connections, the discipline, and the ideological mooring that Trump lacks. He also has a close relationship with the conservative billionaire donors who have captured the Republican Party’s agenda in recent years.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump characterized the Republican Party’s big spenders as “highly sophisticated killers” whose donations allowed them to control politicians. When he declared his candidacy, he claimed that, because of his real-estate fortune, he did not need support from “rich donors,” and he denounced super pacs, their depositories of unlimited campaign contributions, as “corrupt.” Pence’s political career, though, has been sponsored at almost every turn by the donors whom Trump has assailed. Pence is the inside man of the conservative money machine.

Oh, the loathsome West Wing Mommy   Both Trump and creepy KellyAnne attended the Values Voter Meeting held by the Hate Group “Family Research” council.  She told the cult gathering that she loves working for Trump because he truly “respects” and “elavates” women . She’s definitely on my Arya list probably as high up as Little Finger was on hers until last season.  “I work in a workplace where working moms and certainly women are respected.” Most likely she feels safe because there are armed guards around him.

 

She’s most likely Adult Day Care Mommy now.  Here’s more of our tax dollars at work.  It’s on the same level of his frequent trips to his properties to play golf and fleece us of funds.

Some Trump aides spend a significant part of their time devising ways to rein in and control the impetuous president, angling to avoid outbursts that might work against him, according to interviews with 18 aides, confidants and outside advisers, most of whom insisted on anonymity to speak candidly.

“If you visit the White House today, you see aides running around with red faces, shuffling paper and trying to keep up with this president,” said one Republican in frequent contact with the administration. “That’s what the scene is.”

The White House dismissed Corker’s suggestion that administration officials spend their days trying to contain the president. The point was highlighted last week in an unusual briefing by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, who sought to tamp down reports that he was focused on attempting to control Trump.

“I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our president so that he can make the best decisions,” Kelly told reporters. “So, again, I was not sent in to — or brought in to — control him.”

Kelly also praised Trump as “a decisive guy” and “a very thoughtful man” whose sole focus is on advancing American interests. “He takes information in from every avenue he can receive it,” Kelly said. “I restrict no one, by the way, from going in to see him. But when we go in to see him now, rather than onesies and twosies, we go in and help him collectively understand what he needs to understand to makes these vital decisions.”

Trump is hardly the first president whose aides have arranged themselves around him and his management style — part of a natural effort, one senior White House official said, to help ensure the president’s success. But Trump’s penchant for Twitter feuds, name-calling and temperamental outbursts presents a unique challenge.

One defining feature of managing Trump is frequent praise, which can leave his team in what seems to be a state of perpetual compliments. The White House pushes out news releases overflowing with top officials heaping flattery on Trump; in one particularly memorable Cabinet meeting this year, each member went around the room lavishing the president with accolades.

Speaking of more insane members of the Trump clown posse,  Axios today has this headline: “ The next CIA director could be Tom Cotton.”

We told you about internal administration conversations about sliding CIA Director Mike Pompeo over to replace SecState Rex Tillerson, whenever he heads back to Texas.

Now we’re hearing about a top possibility for the next chess move: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was considered for CIA director (and SecDef) during the transition, and is a candidate for CIA again:

Why he’s being considered: Cotton is one of the few senators with an easy relationship with Trump, talking to him a few times a week, giving him advice about top jobs (that Trump has taken), and planting the seed for the Iran policy announced Friday.

 Who he is: Cotton, 40, is a double Harvard (undergraduate and law); served in the Army’s 101st Airborne, with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (Bronze Star); then was a McKinsey & Co. consultant and served a term in the House.
Why it matters: MSNBC and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt — who talks frequently to Cotton on and off the air, and first floated the idea of Cotton for CIA — told me that Pompeo, Cotton, SecDef Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly would be “a quartet of serious intellectuals and warriors in the ‘big four’ jobs.” And you could add National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as a fifth.
  • Hewitt says both Cotton and Pompeo “like and listen to the president” and “accept his realism in foreign affairs.”
  • A longtime friend of Cotton, asked if he’d take the CIA job, said: “This guy quit his fancy law firm to serve his country in the wake of 9/11. He does his duty when the country calls.”
  • Fun fact: Cotton is interesting enough that Jeffrey Toobin has been working on a New Yorker profile, including D.C. interviews and a trip to Cotton’s parents’ cattle farm in Yell County, Ark.

Be smart: The Tillerson situation doesn’t seem tenable to insiders: Pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper yesterday, he again refused to say he hadn’t called Trump a moron. Trump treats people like comfort food — he likes advisers he’s used to, and vice versa. Pompeo and Cotton fit the bill.

 So, that’s it from me. Your Turn.
 
What’s  on your reading and blogging list today?
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17 Comments on “Monday Reads: Me Too”

  1. Enheduanna says:

    Interesting post Dak! TOM COTTON????? Holy mother in heaven – why is our government filled with so many of these dangerously incompetent and arrogant men? Hugh Hewitt makes me sick too.

    And I share your lurve of Kellyanne Conjob. If you’ve seen “It” the spoof is hilarious.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Tom Cotton as CIA director would be a nightmare.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

    • Enheduanna says:

      blahblahblahblah – when he’s able?? Between rounds of golf I guess.

    • dakinikat says:

      http://verifiedpolitics.com/trump-obama-rarely-called-families-dead-soldiers-top-obama-staffers-response-epic/

      Trump: Obama Rarely Called Families Of Dead Soldiers. Top Obama Staffer’s Response Is Epic

      President Obama was known for his devotion to the families of the fallen, hand-writing individual letters to the grieving families and letting them know that each loss weighed heavily upon his soul, that he cherished the sacrifice they made for this nation and that he felt their pain.

      • Enheduanna says:

        Obama also seems to have made it a priority to learn what he didn’t know about the military. It was sort of a weak spot for him during the primaries – his lack of experience with the military. He overcame that and stands in stark contrast to tRump in that way as well.

        This nonsense, along with his disgraceful behavior during “Retreat” a few days ago, should convince any military person this is not a serious president – on any level.

        And if Tom Cotton and tRump manage to get us into a war with Iran – it’ll devastate our armed forces. Who would join that war? Would they need a draft? Can you imagine??

        • dakinikat says:

          Plus Second Lady Biden made them a priority and the first lady was frequently involved with things because of that too.

          • joanelle says:

            McConnell looks beat – totally crushed, lost, apparently he finally realized he’s another Trump tool. How could he not be embarrassed, want to just pack it in?

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. NW Luna says:

    we go in and help him collectively understand what he needs to understand to makes these vital decisions.

    …because he’s such a dumb fuck he doesn’t understand anything so we have to collectively force-feed him understanding without his fragile and bloated ego realizing it. Deities help us!

  6. NW Luna says:

    Sexual harassment impacts your health

    That’s why more women have depression than men.

  7. NW Luna says:

    At first I didn’t understand what made me so uncomfortable about #MeToo – after all, the more women sharing their stories and raising their voices, the better. And though we all know the statistics around sexual violence, it can be easy to think of these things in terms of numbers rather than people. So why not humanize the issue?

    Then I realized: we’ve done this so many times before. Told our stories, raised our hands. Do we really need to bleed ourselves dry once again? How many times will we need to lay our traumas bare in the hope that this will finally be the time people care enough to do something about it?

    It’s true that telling our stories can help – it can help victims not feel quite so alone and make others understand the breadth and depth of the problem. But the truth is that nothing will really change in a lasting way until the social consequences for men are too great for them to risk hurting us.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/16/me-too-victims-perpetrators-sexual-assault

    • quixote says:

      I know it’s not news to anyone here, but this is about power. And since power is the major social organizing principle, people really don’t want to mess with it. It’s in our lizard brains in a way that goes back hundreds of thousands of years. It’s always kind of amazing to watch people’s immediate and unconscious mental gymnastics to avoid even seeing the role of social power. (Or privilege, or whatever you want to call it.)

      The sad thing is that means normal people (in the real sense of normal, i.e. modal) can’t, don’t, won’t do anything about their behavior and the excuses for it until power relations change.

      And that means until women make as much money, have at least as much voice, and actually have enforcement on their side, we’re always going to be repeating our appeals to (poor old) reason.

      You’ll notice how consistently the problem-what-problem? crowd fights any change that actually and effectively gives women real benefits, not just words.

      (Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I’m convinced I have a rather thorough analysis of the structure of the last caste system.)

      • NW Luna says:

        Definitely about power.

        Thanks for pointing to your post. Have to go to work now so will comment later.

      • quixote says:

        Sheesh. Immediately: an example. As jessica Valenti points out in Luna’s linked article, we don’t really need lists of women. We need lists of the men who are the problem. And apparently somebody posted a “Shitty Media Men” list.

        You know how this story ends. The list was disappeared within hours of Buzzfeed outing it.

        That’s how the caste system works. Women get slandered and hounded on media in public all the time. Shoulders get shrugged. A list of men caught in compromising positions? ZOMG! Kill it now! And it is. No shoulder shrugging.