Friday Reads: Frankly, I can think of worse things to call Ivanka Trump

Roman Empress Aggripina Great-Granddaughter Of Emperor Augustus, Great-Niece; Adoptive Granddaughter Of Emperor Tiberius, Sister Of Emperor Caligula, Niece & Fourth Wife Of Emperor Claudius, Mother Of Emperor Nero!

Happy “yet another Tempest in a Teapot while America Burns” Day!

First, I’d like to remind y’all that vaginas are deep and warm and Ivanka Trump is neither so I suggest we think of a better set of words to describe KKKremlin Caligula’s daughter than “feckless cunt”.  We could adopt Demoness reincarnation of Diva August or good ol’ Aunt Livia to keep it all in the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Historically, Livia was the mother of Tiberius and if you know anything about Roman history of the time, you’ll know he was as perverted and evil as the rest of them. Remember, Rome was still supposed to be a Republic at the time but that dreadful set of ghouls–including the fiddling Nero–ruined nearly everything within a few generations.  We could give her a nick name based on Agrippina but that would be a weirder sexual dynamic than I’m prepared to put through my mind.  However, I am praying for a few good men with lean and hungry looks to end our Trumpvian nightmare.

So, let me do a shout out for Samantha Bee whose ‘feckless cunt’ description was probably kinder than Ivanka deserved but who timed the use of the c word badly. I’ve never particularly liked the word when used by American men because it completely drips of toxic masculinity, the patriarchy and misogyny.  Canadians–of which Bee is one–and the English use the word differently and profusely.  But, as Childish Gambino raps, “This is America”.   Still, there’s is no way it’s misogynistic in this context or equivalent to the virulent, ongoing racism displayed by Roseanne Barr.

Rebecca Traister explains it best at The Cut.

As a left-leaning feminist, I agree with Sarah Huckabee Sanders that “silence” on the matter of Bee’s comedic critique — and its connection to ABC’s recent cancellation of Roseanne is inexcusable. So even though I am on the last day of my leave from New York/the Cut and am supposed to be finishing the book I’ve been writing — which is not coincidentally about women’s rage — it is important to be clear about the dynamics at play in these situations, which are absolutely not remotely in any way equivalent to each other.

Language’s ability to inflict harm depends on the power of who’s wielding it and against whom it is being wielded. I’m not talking simply about the power of the individuals in question. For example, it’s not about the damage done by Samantha Bee to Ivanka Trump or Roseanne Barr to Valerie Jarrett, all of whom are individuals with various kinds of power. It’s not about them. Rather, it’s about considering the relative degrees of power of the entities and ideas that those individuals are representing.

It is true that in her critique of Ivanka Trump, Bee used an expletive that is explicitly misogynistic; it is wholly reasonable to object to the word cunt for feminist reasons. It is also reasonable and worthwhile to consider why a term for female anatomy has become such a potent pejorative; why does a word that means vagina also mean “very bad person,”? That’s a valid question, but it’s crucial to consider it in this context. Bee was not reinforcing or replicating the crude harm that “cunt” has been used to inflict historically: the patriarchal diminishment and vilification of women. In fact, Bee was using it to criticize a woman precisely because that woman is acting on behalf of that patriarchy, one that systematically diminishes women, destroys families, and hurts children.

This context makes the situation fundamentally different from Roseanne Barr comparing Valerie Jarrett to an ape, as she did earlier this week. That comparison was an explicitly racist locution with explicitly racist roots, but unlike Bee’s deployment of “cunt” against a misogynistic and racist administration, Barr’s racism has been deployed in support of that racist and misogynistic administration. That administration, as well as the party that has helped to build and shield it, came to power in part on explicitly racist and misogynistic rhetoric that both vilified and promised revenge against the previous, historic administration of Barack Obama, of which Jarrett was a member. That context matters, as does the fact that the Trump administration is using the power it so gained to inflict real-world racist and misogynistic harm on human beings.

Russian proclaimed Emperor KKKremlin Caligula

Yes.  This!

While all the little Trumpsterfires around the country and in the West Wing call for Samantha Bee’s head, Chealsea Clinton reminds us that they’ve all called her mother worse!  Specifically, that subhuman asswipe known as Ted Nugent–bless his little heart– called Hillary Clinton a ‘toxic cunt” and got invited to the White House for tea and cake!

Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Clinton, on Thursday resurfaced a photo of President Trump meeting with Ted Nugent, who once called her mother a “toxic c—,” after the White House condemned Samantha Bee for using the slur about Ivanka Trump.

Clinton shared a tweet by Shareblue writer Oliver Willis, who put a transcript of Nugent’s use of the crude term next to an image of the musician with Trump. Willis captioned the photos “something something something samantha bee fake outrage something.”

“I keep hoping for consistency too, Oliver. Though I’m not holding my breath!” Clinton tweeted.

Nugent had used the term to describe then-first lady Hillary Clinton during a 1994 interview with music magazine “Westword.”

“You probably can’t use the term ‘toxic c—’ in your magazine, but that’s what she is,” Nugent said of Hillary Clinton. “Her very existence insults the spirit of individualism in this country. This bitch is nothing but a two-bit whore for Fidel Castro.”

Bee apologized Thursday after she called Ivanka Trump a “feckless c—” during her show Wednesday night.

The White House had sharply condemned Bee’s comments, saying TBS’s “Full Frontal” is “not fit for broadcast.”

Livia Drusilla (58 BCE – 29 CE) the third wife of emperor Augustus of Rome, mother of emperor Tiberius, and grandmother of emperor Claudius.

No one ever asks for an apology for all that Trump called Hillary Clinton.  She still hasn’t gotten any from the press either for endlessly repeating it.

Frankly, Sister Huckabuck and White House Mommy don’t get to complain about any of this given they both suck patriarchal dick and send women to the ash-heap of male property with glee. Ivanka was supposedly different but she evidently is okay with her 40 shekel payment in terms of Chinese Trademarks on her lousy products along with the continued use of child labor.

Nice ladies do not employ companies that enslave children.  Am I right?

First daughter Ivanka Trump has billed herself as an advocate in the White House for women’s rights. But the first daughter, who owns her namesake brand but no longer closely manages it, did not speak out when three men with New York nonprofit China Labor Watch were arrested while investigating low wages, forced overtime, and physical and verbal abuse at Chinese factories producing shoes for her company.

The men were accused of using secret recording devices illegally and jailed, leaving the wife of one of them, Deng Guilian, with no choice but to work an overnight shift at a karaoke parlor that gave her only three days off a month to see her two young children, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

“They seem accustomed to not having their mom,” Deng said of her 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

Trump’s company did not respond to a request for comment from Newsweek.

“As a public figure, she has the ability and resources to not only work on labor conditions at her own brand’s factories, but also to help improve labor conditions of the global supply chain as a whole,” China Labor Watch founder Li Qiang said of Trump. “However, she did not use her influence to do these things.”

Rome’s 3rd Emperor Caligula

Oh, and about those Chinese patents and a distinct lack of ethics …

“We have recently seen a surge in trademark filings by unrelated third parties trying to capitalize on the name and it is our responsibility to diligently protect our trademark.” That’s somewhat mitigating, in that it does not suggest that Ms. Trump is engaged in aggressive new trading on her name, but she’s still trading on it.

The fact that China granted some of these valuable intellectual property rights just a few days before the president agreed to relax U.S. sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE only fortifies the appearance that foreign governments seek to influence the U.S. government by bestowing business favors on the president’s daughter. This is an inference of impropriety that most ethical people, whether in business or in government, would go to the greatest possible lengths to dispel, but — so far, at least — not Ms. Trump.

And, she’s no friend of other women as Elizabeth Spiers writes for The Chicago Tribune: “Ivanka Trump wants power with no accountability'”

“Ivanka Trump is the president’s visible right-hand woman, and she stands by her man no matter what.”

As an adviser, Ivanka Trump has traveled the globe (on the taxpayers’ dime, no less) claiming to be an advocate for women’s rights and speaking on behalf of the country. Whether the president — who aside from being her father is also her boss — has sexually assaulted 19 women is obviously relevant for an administration that just this month dismissed senior aide Rob Porter over reports that he allegedly abused his ex-wives. It’s an obvious question for any senior White House adviser. But Ivanka Trump wants to put it off limits because the president is her dad. She acts like a sort of ersatz first lady, while Trump’s actual wife, Melania Trump, occupies more of a seen-and-not-heard role usually relegated to children. Ivanka Trump is the president’s visible right-hand woman, and she stands by her man no matter what.

Why else does she work at the White House despite her total and absolute lack of political and policy experience? Or despite her refusal to divest herself fully of her businesses and relationships to the Trump Organization, or the inability of either Ivanka Trump or her husband to get a full security clearance (possibly because of her business relationships and the conflicts of interest and potential for corruption they present)? Because she and Kushner are related to the president. And because they wanted powerful jobs they could simply take even though they weren’t qualified for them.

The desire to have it both ways extends beyond convenient vacillation between her role as a daughter and adviser to the administration. Ivanka Trump also implausibly attaches herself to disparate and often contradictory political agendas. She came to the White House a socially liberal Democrat who espoused better policies for working women and environmentally friendly approaches to climate change, and she supposedly found the administration’s immigration ban abhorrent. But her convictions on these issues haven’t been so strong that they have stopped her from continuing to publicly support and enable a White House with an appalling record on what she’s supposed to believe.

But she has no problem with the dissonance because she has never known how to be authentic in the first place. She’s been in the spotlight since she was a child; she was a runway model as a teenager. She evaluates everything she does in terms of optics. If she has or had any strongly held beliefs or values, they’re secondary to her utilitarianism.

Livia Drusilla

The bottom line–writes Peggy Drexler of CNN–is Samantha Bee is right. And, I might add, Roseanne Barr is a repeat racist and bigot PERIOD.

But Bee is not Barr — she is not spewing random and racist, anti-Semitic, conspiracy-theory views over years on Twitter, as Barr has, and often in the service of supporting the President’s policies. Nor, let’s be honest, are we living in a time of particularly polite discourse.

It’s important, too, to remember that Bee is a comedian known for delivering a standup monologue which, like that of other comedians, often uses outrageous, boundary-pushing and, to some, offensive comedy to make strong points about politics. In Bee’s case, though, and unlike in Barr’s, these points are usually made on behalf of those harmed by this President’s policies.
Which is why there’s a difference between Bee and Barr. Directing a single insult, even a vulgar one, at one person, for reasons of defending the disenfranchised, as Bee did, is one thing; promoting racist beliefs, specifically calling a black person “an ape” in response to, well, nothing, is quite another.

All of which is why it’s a shame that Bee’s message has been largely overshadowed by debate over this single word, whether she should have used it, how and if she should be reprimanded and whether her show should be canceled.

Although she apologized Wednesday — sincerely, it seems — for using the word about the President’s daughter, in truth, perhaps the biggest problem with her calling first daughter Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” Wednesday night on her TBS show “Full Frontal” is that the comedian undercut her own message.

The point Bee was attempting to make was that Ivanka Trump, a close presidential adviser, should be held accountable for her failure to influence her father to end his cruel immigration policies, which include separating immigrant parents from children.
As such, the overall point was valid: Sitting idly by when you’re in a position to help is as bad as carrying out the actions yourself.
What sent Bee over the edge though, it seems, was Ivanka’s tone-deaf tweet Sunday in which the first daughter pictured herself cuddling with her 2-year-old son Theodore, even as reports swirled that the government had lost track of some 1,500 immigrant children it had placed with sponsors in recent years.

Emperor Claudius

So, yeah, she is a feckless cunt and worse. She’s sat by and done or said nothing.  We now these things because of her father and she’s a senior policy advisor.

1. Resurrected and radically expanded the global gag rule

2. Banned U.S. funding for the UN reproductive health and rights agency

3. Slashed funding for international family planning programs

4. Installed an anti-abortion extremist to represent the U.S.

5. Tried to hire a staunch opponent of women’s health and rights

6. Puts people’s lives at risk with broad refusal policy

7. Broke a Senate deadlock to install Sam Brownback as Ambassador for International Religious Freedom

8. Slammed the door on immigrants fleeing violence

9. Endangered underserved women by withdrawing from Paris Climate Agreement

10. Censoring the State Department’s annual human rights report

In his first 100 days alone, women and children were hurt by her inaction as a women’s policy advisor.  There’s a list of 100 things there. They are all under these broad headlines.

  • Eroding family economic security

  • Putting children at risk

  • Attacking reproductive rights

  • Undermining women’s legal rights

  • Weakening protections against gender-based violence

  • Undermining women’s leadership

  • Tearing families apart

  • Endangering healthy communities

  • Slashing health benefits

Seriously, go read all the things Ivanka enabled her father to do that made the lives of women and children worse all around the world. So, scrape the freaking bottom of the barrel for all the possible invectives we could hurl at Ivanka and use them resplendently.  The entire realm is under siege by this shit show.

So, I, Claudius remains one of my favorite Brit series.  It led me to do a lot of studying about that time period and little did I know that I would live this 1976 TV series starting in 2016.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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33 Comments on “Friday Reads: Frankly, I can think of worse things to call Ivanka Trump”

  1. dakinikat says:

  2. dakinikat says:

    Melania speculation is rampant:

    • Valhalla says:

      My other guess was plastic surgery. Or maybe a combination.

      What puzzles me, though, is that even with either, they could have her at least stand at a window like Trump claimed. With makeup and strategically placed clothing they should be able to make it look like she’s alive. Unless she can’t even stand up. Or isn’t alive.

      • dakinikat says:

        My guess was a major depressive episode.

        • Valhalla says:

          That ‘s a good guess too. Has anyone seen Barron?

          This all started as a mildly amusing Internet meme, but now it’s really concerning.

          • dakinikat says:

            Nope but who ever does? Was wondering if he was on summer break yet

          • bostonboomer says:

            I’m starting to give credence to the rumors that Trump beat her up. Someone on Twitter said she could have had a kidney bleed from being struck. The kidney thing is such an odd excuse to use, and the issue they claimed would never take this long for recovery. Something is very very wrong here. Otherwise they would at least parade her out for the cameras.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Don’t you think it’s odd that Barron wasn’t there for the physical fitness photo op???

          • quixote says:

            The problem with the violence scenario is that the Prez has Secret Service around all the time. It’s Dump’s MO, but I think people would arrive too quickly for him to really get going. Plus, he’s a grossly flabby 71. Melania is a fit 46 (or so?). Not to say he couldn’t do a lot of damage even so, but it’s harder than it would be if he were fitter.

            Certainly not impossible, but I think it’s much likelier she’s left him and taken Barron with her. Then her refusal to even wave to reporters also makes sense.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      B.B…. I don’t know if this is for real or not:

  3. Sweet Sue says:

    Vaginas are deep, warm and productive. Nothing at all like Ivanka.

  4. Mary Brown says:

    Oh for heavens sake. They sell t shirts at Trump rallies calling Hillary Clinton a cunt.

    • dakinikat says:

      It’s the usual dust up to avoid the constitutional crisis that should be forcing the Republicans in congress to do something. Plus, the news from Puerto Rico, and all the other crap he’s doing like separating babies from mothers, gagging doctors and further wrecking medicaid.

    • dakinikat says:

  5. bostonboomer says:

    This op-ed by John Brennan is a must read.

    John Brennan: I will speak out until integrity returns to the White House

    For more than three decades, I observed and analyzed the traits and tactics of corrupt, incompetent and narcissistic foreign officials who did whatever they thought was necessary to retain power. Exploiting the fears and concerns of their citizenry, these demagogues routinely relied on lies, deceit and suppression of political opposition to cast themselves as populist heroes and to mask self-serving priorities. By gaining control of intelligence and security services, stifling the independence of the judiciary and discrediting a free press, these authoritarian rulers followed a time-tested recipe for how to inhibit democracy’s development, retard individual freedoms and liberties, and reserve the spoils of corrupt governance for themselves and their ilk. It never dawned on me that we could face such a development in the United States.

    • quixote says:

      (I’m feeling an irritating urge to say — in Tom Magliozzi’s inimitable Car Talk voice — “I knew that.”)

  6. jane says:

    While what Samantha Bee was sexist, it was essentially a crude word for woman. Roseanne made a really crude racist remark that called someone less than an animal. Roseanne should have been fired. Roseanne made her remark as a person. Samantha Bee should have a talk with the writers. They just should watch the language in future.

  7. Valhalla says:

    I still think Traister undercuts her own point by trying to justify Bee’s use of the word. Mostly because she would be able to make all the same points about the absolute vileness of Ivanka with a much less twisty and much more convincing & effective argument. Eg, yeah she shouldn’t have used that word but we can all empathize with Bee’s frustration at [insert long list of Ivanka’s odious, misogynist, father-enabling positions and actions here including all the ones dak identifies].

    • Sweet Sue says:

      I agree.

    • Valhalla says:

      Although I do need to admit that in spite of my comments about using the C word, this remains one of my favorite youtube videos. And I can’t really justify it.

    • quixote says:

      I’m the Army of One trying to stop the use “fuck” because it’s a misogynist trashfire when it’s used to mean destroyed, in torment, hell, and the rest. So I’d should be the last one to support Sam Bee, I guess.

      And yet, and yet. Two things sort of nag at me. One is, “You know what? This apologizing crap stops here. Have that thing that calls itself a President apologize first, and about a million times, to cover all his vicious slurs. Then we’ll work our way down through his supporters. Then we’ll start to think about it.”

      And the second is that considering the meaning of that particular swear word, it actually applies to Ivanka. She does trade on her sexuality and her position and use them against people. (That at least is what I always thought it meant from the way people use it.) It’s just like “dick” really does apply to, say, Hannity. Dumb and a tool.

      Agreed, those are gendered slurs and they’re way overused and we should really just quit it. But if ever it’s appropriate to use, then it’s at her, for having the unmitigated gall to swan around while not disowning that steaming pile of crimes against humanity.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Well, here is my opinion on the word cunt.

        Yes it is a vulgar word, for a woman. And I am so disgusted when men use it towards women. When that happens it pisses me off beyond anything.

        However, I do use that word myself to describe the most contemptable hateful misogynistic women who are determined to cause harm and suffering to other women. To me that is the proper word for the women who deserve a special place in hell.

        Ivanka tRump is a cunt. A feckless cunt. Sam Bee should have never apologized.

        • quixote says:

          “describe[s] the most contemptable hateful misogynistic women who are determined to cause harm and suffering to other women”

          Exactly. A clearer version of what I was trying to say.

          I think I also include nastiness to children in that. To me, the fact that Ms-I’m-going-to-humanize-my-monster-Dad-so-vote-for-him has said nothing, zero, zip, nada about the atrocity of family separation makes her totally deserving of the label. I would have hesitated to say it before, but if she can follow him into that crime against humanity, she’s as bad as he is.

    • dakinikat says:

      Do me a favor and read this: https://www.thewhoresofyore.com/kates-journal/a-nasty-name-for-a-nasty-thing-a-history-of-cunt

      It’s about why the Latin words like vagina are really the insulting terms and why we need to reclaim the word for what it’s really about rather than what the recent patriarchs did to it. It’s a long read. Actually from a Brit academic and very explicit. It was always a descriptive word and not an invective until most recently on the US. And turning it into the worst insult word possible just because what it has historically described should be undone.

      FUCK THE patriarchy! #TeamCunt

  8. Minkoff Minx says:

    This is the best thing I’ve seen:

    • quixote says:

      I laughed out loud when I saw that, too.

      How did one high school get such a high density of brilliant kids? What’s the deal? Is it, on the QT, a magnet school for future Oscar Wildes?

  9. palhart says:

    Obama wonders if he came along 10 or 20 years too soon.

    Yes, Hillary’s 2 terms should have preceded him. I’be been saying this as the best presidential tiime-line since 2008.

    • Sweet Sue says:

      Amen.

    • quixote says:

      Given what’s followed Obama, he looks brilliant by comparison. But in the real world, he’s a match lit in a cave. He was a corporate tool as state senator in Illinois, he spent his time there and as Senator voting “present” on the controversial stuff. (Yes, I’m sure he was on the right side of some things. My point is that by and large he devoted himself to keeping his nose clean and getting hoisted up the ladder.) And — the biggest lapse of all, for which we’ll be paying for generations — having access to all the FBI and CIA info before the election and before the inauguration and doing nothing because he didn’t want Mitch McConnell to be mean to him. Instead he was busy looking forward to his post-Presidency windsurfing vacay.

      (Yes, I’m furious. How did you guess?)

      None of which is to say I wouldn’t gladly see Obama serving 3rd and 4th terms if that could rescue us from the steaming Dump we have now. Obama was merely slightly below average. The Dump is utter shit.

    • palhart says:

      I take Obama’s remark as an insult and blame him, in part for not waiting to run in 2016, for Trump’s election. The Kennedys supported him early on. He presented an undated video of his proclaiming his anti-Iraq invasion stance. He presented no, or little, legislative record. There was a black Illinois “king-maker” who hurled him ahead. By then, his highly inflated male ego made the leap plausible. I remember calling him an upstart in a blog where black responders called me racist. He was inexperienced and needed accomplishments above “community organizer.”

      We now are living in the worst backlash ever imagined. I believe Hillary would have had a rougher time as president after her second
      run, but she would have had greater success than Obama in his two terms.